The symposium entitled 'Vekhi', or Landmarks, is one of the most famous publications in Russian intellectual and political history. Its fame rests on the critique it offers of the phenomenon of the Russian intelligentsia. It was published in 1909, under the editorship of Mikhail Gershenzon, as a polemical response to the revolution of 1905, the failed outcome of which was deemed by all the Landmarks contributors to exemplify and illuminate fatal philosophical, political, and psychological flaws in the revolutionary intelligentsia that had sought it. Its fame persists until today not least because the volume has been deemed by many in Russia and the West to have proven prophetic in its prediction (and urgent warning) that the realization of the intelligentsia's platform would bring ruin upon Russia. More than any other text, its republication in 1991 symbolically heralded the end of the ideological hegemony of Marxist-Leninism in the Soviet Union.
Robin Aizlewood holds an honorary position at UCL, having been director of UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and also of the inter-university Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies. He is the author of two books on Maiakovskii's verse (Verse Forma and Meaning in the Poetry of Vladimir Maiakovskii, 1989, and Two Essays on Maiakovskii's Verse, 2000) and a wide range of studies of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian philosophy and literature, both prose and poetry. Ruth Coates is senior lecturer in Russian studies at the University of Bristol, UK. She is the author of Christianity in Bakhtin: God and the Exiled Author, 1998, and numerous articles on the Russian intellectual tradition. She is currently researching the reception of the doctrine of deification in Russian culture, with an emphasis on the late imperial period.
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