NotaBene .


Soul and body in a love quartet

Abstract: The paper analyzes some anthropological aspects of love and love-related relationships in the famous novel The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The love in the love quartet, experienced by Prince Lef Nicolaievitch Muishkin, Nastasia Philipovna, Parfen Rogojin and Aglaya Epanchina is stamped by passions and paroxysms: sufferance, compassion, adoration, pride, joy, self-umiliation, self-destruction, happiness. Here the love is split between body and soul, sufferance and happiness, subjection and freedom, life and death. The body-soul relation and split is especially emphasized. The soul sufferance is analyzed as influencing the body sufferance and the self-destruction. The passionate love is seen as an expression of vitality, of deep and magic relation between man and women, oscillating between freedom and subjugation, joy and sadness. Those aspects of human essence, interpreted in the novel, are put in anthropological perspective.

Keywords: love, love quartet, passions, body, soul, sufferance, compassion, happiness, freedom.



The paper describes and analyzes some philosophical-historical approaches toward West as type of civilization, regional culture, cultural areal, that possesses a universal historical perspective. The critical and analytical approaches of M. Weber, A. Toynbee and Assen Ignatov are described. The capitalist spirit, the western rationalism, militarism, secularism are emphasized and criticized. The capacity of the West to be open, dynamic, to self-transform itself is analyzed within the framework of its potential historical universality.