Аtaraxia as dialectical contradiction (on the example of the novel by I. Goncharov

АТАРАКСІЯ ЯК ДІАЛЕКТИЧНЕ ПРОТИРІЧЧЯ (на прикладі роману І. Гончарова "Обломов")
Аtaraxia as dialectical contradiction (on the example of the novel by I. Goncharov "Oblomov")

Author(s): Viktoria Rudko
Subject(s): Philosophy, Studies of Literature
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: ataraxia; harmony; aesthetic activities; individual; epicurean school;

Summary/Abstract: This paper examines the form of explication and conceptualization of ataraxia in art. An embodied problem of archetypal aesthetics of ataraxia in I. Goncharov's novel "Oblomov" is detected. It’s considered, whether harmonious combination of a man’s activity "for better" with the consequences of this activity, sometimes scary, hectic struggle forpower and benefits of mental peace and happiness is possible.We consider ataraxia as harmony, measure and eurhythmy in the context of outlook, and, as known, a person through activity or its absence can lead the world and own soul into harmony or disharmony. An archetypal problem is traced, which is essentially a problem of finding the harmony of acting and contemplation, reflection and actions. We analyze what the activity is.It turns out that activity, especially ideal and creative one is the main protection of a man against spiritual emptiness, worthlessness and monotony of life. But a habit, stereotyped behavior nullify all the spiritual dignity of a man. It is shown, that reflection lets a subject rise above the immediacy of his desire, subordinate his natural tendency to his own will; in addition, provides an idea of the proper, creates dreams that contribute to the stability of the spirit. Finally, the reflection itself is the beginning of creativity.It is shown that Ilya Ilyich was a true Epicurean. We give general reasons for inaction of Oblomov. And the main one is displayed – a desire to stay in the serene, silent peace of mind when after the satisfaction of the body needs comes a complete absence of all kinds of passions and complexities. For Oblomov as a true Epicurean these are too boring affairs and employment, any activity, political, social, personal. He appreciates only peace, only inner peace of complacency, happy void of any passion and business. This pleasure of peace requires great austerities, abstaining from everything hectic. It’s not worth to do neither science nor art, because such studies bring worries of failure and all sorts of excitement in the life of the soul that only wants to dive into itself and forget everything else. And especially he is not to engage in public affairs and to deal only with aesthetic self-enjoying, lying on the couch.It is shown that inaction could lead to harmony if it is understood through Chinese philosophy. There inaction is not a rejection of action, but the rejection of violence both on one’s own nature and nature in general. Inaction is a constant willingness to seek a way into the stream of life, and not to rush blindly into the maelstrom of activities. Original core of inaction philosophy is the call to follow global harmony. In this sense, non-action can be regarded not as a real failure to act, but as a rejection of conventional simulation of activities, trying to escape the squirrel wheel of senseless hassles associated with hunting for ranks and honors. Oblomov’s inaction is not only a position but also a protest. Oblomov does not want to live at the expense of his own moral worth. Schtoltz categorically states that it is not a life, but Oblomovism. Oblomov in his defense says if everyone is not trying to achieve the same, what he wants? And the purpose of all the running around, passions, war, commerce and politics – isn’t it for finding peace, for the pursuit of the ideal of a lost paradise? The hero does not accept "Petersburg life", for him it is cold and devoid of soul, all focused on career and money. He has very different ideals. So he decides for himself that the best is to be an "Oblomovist" but keep the humanity and kindness of heart, than being a careerist, vain, callous and heartless.It is deduced that Oblomovism sounds like a rebuke for a living arrangement that is designed for all people. All these hopes, anxieties, expectations, passions and feelings Oblomov rejects. He died alone, without struggle and hope, without victory and defeat. Epicurean has no refuge anywhere, he is alone, all of his joy is in himself. He is calm when everything around is noisy, excited and does not know its meaning. In the stormy sea of life, he feels his own quiet inner freedom and independence. Seal of hopeless tragedy lies on Oblomov’s skepticism. He wanted to reach the heights, impartiality, majestic tranquility, which is sought since ancient philosophers. We can say that skepticism of Oblomov is the philosophy of despair, wake of spiritual disaster. It is a transcendental despair. Psychologically, this is the state of ataraxia, the absence of rebel spirit, omission, not a spiritual death, but peace. Metaphysically something big wasn’t possible here, some inner animating force left the world.