Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2018 Vol 11 Issue 59

Markov A.V. To the Russian psychology of perception: cinema in the early symbolism

Full text in Russian: Марков А.В. К истории русской психологии восприятия: рецепция кинематографа в раннем символизме

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia

About author
Suggested citation

Criticism of associative thinking was explained in early Russian symbolism, which sought to rehabilitate contemplation and the experience of eternity. Naive rehabilitation was impossible, and although later symbolism denied the expressive possibilities of cinematography, early symbolism rated cinema as medium of contemplation, alternative to the novel organization of motivations and actions. In this case, since it is not clear who is contemplating, the camera or the viewer, it was possible to perceive the cinema only within lyrical poetics, in which the ideal contemplates itself and it is possible to switch from the ideal to the actor without changing the aspect. The legacy of Russian poetry, in which the contemplation of unique natural phenomena could be contrasted with the contemplation of the multiplicity of the world, turned out to be the best preparation for understanding the cinematic media. The early Russian symbolist Ivan Konevskoy created the first ekphrasis of the film, under the guise of a plot poem, and challenged Maeterlinck's aesthetic program, opposing it to the effects of cinematic perception of unique things. Thus, in Russian symbolism, new ideas were created about the difference between associative thinking and imagination: associative thinking started to be considered axiologically, with insist on the value of the first impressions, whereas imagination was drawing closer to contemplation, in which axiology turns out to be only one aspect in the figurative series, whereas the self-knowledge of the Spirit is contemplated, but not the consequences of its presence. Thus, symbolism established a new critical norm of contemplation, which should be taken into account in analyzing the Russian idealistic philosophy of that time, and contributed to the further development of the psychology of perception that culminated in the projects of Shpet and Vygotsky.

Keywords: associative thinking, cinematography, technical medium, descriptive psychology, contemplation


The paper is dedicated to Prof. Valeriya Andreeva (Kostroma State University, Russia).


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Received 18 March 2018. Date of publication: 28 June 2018.

About author

Markov Alexander V. Ph.D., Professor, Department of Cinema and Contemporary Art, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya pl., 6, 125993 Moscow, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Markov A.V. To the Russian psychology of perception: cinema in the early symbolism. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2018, Vol. 11, No. 59, p. 2. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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