The circle of Stankevich reflected, in the first months of 1837, the gloom which had overtaken its principal members. Stankevich was wrestling with an unsteady conscience over the affair of Lyubov. Belinsky smarted under the humiliations of his visit to Premukhino, the sense of his own unworthiness, and the necessity, now that the Telescope had ceased to exist, of living on his friends. Michael, though he had no more scruples now than at any other time about borrowing money from anyone who would lend, was tormented by the collapse of his philosophical self-assurance, and felt that he had no longer any firm basis for his thought and conduct. He perceived that his “external world” was nothing but “dreams and phrases”, and that his “inner life” was “poor and shallow”. Scepticism took its revenge for the “boundless faith” of the past summer. Even his feelings for his sisters had become “too petty, too trivial, too finite”, and it seemed that his love for them belonged to the world of fantasy and illusion. But it was not in Michael’s nature to remain a prey to pessimism. It was a philosophical disease, and it yielded to a philosophical remedy. The circle of Stankevich turned from Fichte to Hegel.1
KeywordsRational Reality External Reality Past Summer Reactionary Opinion Principal Member
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