The authoritative British academic printing house Cambridge Scholars Publishing published the collective monograph “Anxiety, Angst, Anguish in Fin de Siècle Art and Literature”. Among its authors there are humanities scholars (philologists and art historians) from the USA, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Russia. This interdisciplinary study examines what embodiment and understanding the experience of “anxiety (fear)” gained in the era of the European “end of the century” decadence.
Andrey Faustov, a professor of the Faculty of Philology of VSU, wrote one of the book chapters, “Observations on the Semiotics of Sorrow and Anguish in Russian Culture at the Threshold of the 20th Century: Or How Did Russians Invent World Sorrow”.
The scientist’s main idea is that the expression of “world sorrow”, which arose as the equivalent of the German “Weltschmerz” and remained very popular in Russian literary and humanitarian consciousness until the beginning of the XX century, did not appear in Russian culture out of the blue. It was preceded by the birth of another, no less influential expression, “civil sorrow”. Russians were inclined to perceive the cosmic drama of human existence by analogy with the political drama. The echoes of this analogy became extremely significant for the Russian mentality in the future.