Issue 1
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Issue 1

“Revolutionary Machines” and the Literature of Andrei Platonov


The paper reflects upon one of the major themes in the writings of Andrey Platonov, the theme of machines. At stake are not ordinary machines, but revolutionary ones, whose purpose consists in the radical transformation of life, nature, and world. But what is the matter of this transformation? How to describe the revolution that stands behind the avant-garde reflections of Platonov, which can be unambiguously categorized neither as utopian, nor as anti-utopian? Both utopia and anti-utopia usually relate to the future, whereas the time when Platonov’s machines are going on stage coincides neither with the future nor with the present. This is a specific revolutionary time, the time of revolution as completed planetary catastrophe, of the devastation of nature and the beginning of a new history, whose subject’s embodiment is not a living human being, but a new machine, capable to manage natural energies.


Andrey Platonov, history, machines, nature, revolution, technology