Russian Lit. Themes.docx - Authentic vs Fake thinking When...

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Authentic vs. Fake thinking - When Stiva is reading the newspaper (Part I Ch 3): takes the liberal point of view and always agrees with the positions of the group – only happens if you are not actually evaluating the arguments of the position o we don’t choose polt. views based on what is more rational or what accords with our own values o this is why his views change of their own – no thought or effort in evaluating them o contrast with Levin, who is always changing his mind and can’t find a label for himself - Conversation between Sergei and Professor (Part I Ch 7) o cite 2 comical German names as “fashionable authorities” o inauthentic discussion: dismiss arguments and cite authorities only for argument’s sake; don’t actually address the question - Stiva and Levin at restaurant (Anglia) (p. 51) o Levin wants life to be “all of a piece” but Stiva recognizes that it is not o his reaction is wrong, however – don’t take pleasure in the variety that is bad, but rather do something to fix it - Fake simplicity with Anna’s dress: something actually very elaborate - false listening is lying too: Anna and Karenin trying to have a conversation about her behavior (Part II Ch 9) o Anna doesn’t want to talk and so takes Vronsky out of the context; she doesn’t say anything willfully false, but knowingly false listening is also an action, and thus she is lying o similar to looking as an action and non-action as an action in BK - looking as an action: Anna watching Vronsky through binoculars at horse race (Part II Ch 28) - The reactionary landowner (Part III Ch 26, 379) o at Schviasky’s house o doesn’t borrow fashionable views, not trying to impress; reflects actual experience o Levin can learn from the landowner’s experiences; cannot from Schviasky o separate what from how - Kitty at the spa at Soden (262-264) o wants to copy Varenka, but she does more harm than good o can’t just copy a model or abstract theory o Kitty can’t all of a sudden change the elemental force (her habits), they need to change one at a time o doesn’t like that what she does has a name – element of fakeness, as if she were doing it just so ppl would recognize that it’s good (268-269) - Levin’s contradiction of faith o worries him; however, if you think authentically, beliefs and behavior don’t coincide o Schviasky’s views come out of “ought” and want of pleasure; this is why he grows uncomfortable when confronted with what “he really believes” because he doesn’t know - Levin and the superstitious peasant (Part III Ch 28) o peasant thinking that rooster will help heal child like the nobility thinking schools will cure poverty and laziness in the peasants o can’t just look for a formula; must see what will actually work o superstition is inauthentic thinking; don’t trace causal connection -

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