I am glad to continue my line of posts on unknown genius people and the Russian intellectual and spiritual heritage.
After my post on Pushkin and Lomonosov, the next one who came to my mind was the man of a very unusual destiny and intellectual grandeur.
I remember how I was fascinated by his ideas at the age of 15. That time I was keen on history and philosophy, and Lev Gumilev`s idea impressed me with its global approach and intre-disciplinary perspective.
Why was his life interesting?
A son of two prominent Russian poets, Lev Nikolayevich Gumilyov(1912- 1992), also known as Lev Gumilev, was a Russian dissident historian. His unorthodox ideas on the birth and death of ethnoses (ethnic groups) have given rise to the political and cultural movement known as “Neo-Eurasianism”.
He proved strong despite almost 16 years he spent in Stalin’s camps, participation in the Second World War and a Nazis concentration camp. Wherever he was he did not loose the sense of life that he saw in work, research and creativity. It is generally known that after he was convicted for the second time in the late 1940s and sentenced to 10 years of camps (GULAG) for contra-Marks and Lenin ideology activities, he continued researches in seeking definitions for ethnos and wrote in the camp a large part of his most renowned book Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere.
What was his innovation?
Lev Gumilev debuted in science brilliantly after graduating from the Leningrad University. He thought in a very innovative manner taking as basis historic and philosophic theories. Lev Gumilev formed his own perception of the world creating new doctrines rejected by everyone at his time. He was the father of ethnogenesis theory, under which nations originate from regularity of the society development, and the “passion” theory – the human ability to sacrifice for the sake of ideological purposes, as Gumilev stated. (more…)