The Russian public experienced extraordinary excitement and trauma during violent and catastrophic events of the early 20th century: the World War, Revolutions, and the Civil War. These events brought about dramatic changes in cultural perceptions of space and time. By 1921—after nearly seven years of intellectual isolation—sensational news started arriving from Europe, producing an intellectual turmoil that focused on Einstein’s relativity, Steinach’s rejuvenation, and Spengler’s diagnosis of world history. Their ideas, when reinterpreted within the new revolutionary culture, contributed to an outburst of wildly unconventional theories and speculative hypotheses.
This talk considers these theories and hypotheses that linked the concept of space-time to biological resurrection, astronomical and historical catastrophism, the eternal return, and fundamental periodicities at different time scales—focusing on the personal, historical, and cosmological.