It has often been claimed that the journalist Platonov reproduced the idea of ‘immortality’ which belonged to the soviet topos of ‘new man’ and that the poet Platonov contradicted the journalist by making this idea ridiculous. Such an overly complicated understanding of Platonov’s work can be replaced by a simpler explanation: An analysis of several of his texts shows that the young and the elder Platonov, the poet and the journalist were unanimously in favour of a certain concept of ‘immortality’, that simply did not fit into the then-mainstream topos of ‘new man’. This first part of the study explains how Platonov rejected the fantastic notion of ‘immortality’ that dominated the corresponding discussions in soviet intellectual life in the decade after 1917. The second part analyses Platonov’s relationship to the stalinist version of ‘new man’ and its specific variant of ‘immortality’.
This is the second and final part of the analysis of Platonov’s work with regard to the idea of ‘immortality’. The first part has revealed that Platonov preferred ‘collective immortality’ thus rejecting the then-mainstream topos of ‘new man’. The second part deals with the stalinist trend to turn all ideas into ideologies: the topos of ‘new man’ as well as the concept of ‘collective immortality’. An analysis of several fictional texts shows that Platonov, while remaining true to his concept of ‘collective immortality’, resisted its ideologisation by tying his concept to characters who struggle for their individuation and yet recognize their relativity in the collective of all people.