Cover Osteuropa 8-10/2016

In Osteuropa 8-10/2016

Archaic future beings
Andrei Platonov’s tool men

Georg Witte

Deutsche Fassung


In Platonov’s work, the manual labourer “mechanises” his tool, and the engineer treats a machine like an archaic instrument. The machine, which is cared for by humans and the human who is cared for by the machine form a unit. The enthusiasm of Platonov’s heroes stems from this anachronistic relationship to the means of production. However, this relationship also leads to jarring dissonances. The phantasmagorical nature and monstrosity of his heroes’ visions for the future stand in close correlation with the anthropological challenge of the emerging tool man. This new man is a permeable entity between the biological and the technical, the organic and the inorganic world. The fantasies of eternal life which are ever present in Platonov’s work are not aimed at decoupling man from his biological origins, but at including his body in a universal transfer of energy.

(Osteuropa 8-10/2016, pp. 217–233)