Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moved by the PastDiscontinuity and Historical Mutation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eelco Runia

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168205

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168205.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Crossing the Wires in the Pleasure Machine

Crossing the Wires in the Pleasure Machine

(p.158) 8 Crossing the Wires in the Pleasure Machine
Moved by the Past

Eelco Runia

Columbia University Press

This chapter offers a “substantive” reflection on the making of history by connecting the notion that “novelty”—or discontinuity—springs from the dehors texte with Jacob Burckhardt's intuition that we have become, and continue to become, what we are in an endless series of Verpuppungen (metamorphoses). To this end, it considers one particular metamorphosis: the way Vladimir Ilyich Lenin succeeded in bringing off the Russian Revolution. In particular, it explores Lenin's capacity to recreate contexts “in his image and likeness” in relation to the concept of “somnambulistic clairvoyance.” It first discusses Leon Trotsky's observation that the revolution was a cascade of improvisations and that Lenin owed his success to his “imagination.” It then examines what complexity looks like at the level of the species by using an axiom: that the best way to complicate a situation is to try to simplify it by throwing all cautions to the wind and fleeing forward. It also looks at the notion of inventio, as opposed to imaginatio, in connection with the Russian Revolution.

Keywords:   history, novelty, discontinuity, Jacob Burckhardt, metamorphosis, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky, inventio, imaginatio

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .