ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)
Ru | En
Russian Psychological Society
The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Main RSS Search


Vladimir S. Sobkin, Tatiana A. Klimova. (2019). Lev Vygotsky about Andrei Bely’s novel «Petersburg» (comments on the review). National Psychological Journal. 2, 64-87


Background. The paper contains a revised text of Lev Vygotsky's review of Andrei Bely's novel “Petersburg”. In addition to Vygotsky’s review the paper presents the author’s comment. The review is of particular importance for understanding the biography facts of Lev Vygotsky, the greatest psychologist of the twentieth century.

The Objective is to provide the modern reader with a semantic understanding of both the text of the peer-reviewed novel and a special stage of personal, national and religious self-determination of Lev Vygotsky, the outstanding psychologist of the twentieth century.

Design. When working on the comment, traditional historical and philological methods of text analysis and reading techniques were used to identify the hidden and implicit citations contained in Vygotsky's review from a number of interpretation angles. One of them concerns the artistic features of the novel associated with the distinctive aesthetics of symbolism. Another perspective is connected with the religious and philosophical issues that determine the ideological position of Andrey Bely. The third one concerns a wide range of issues related to anti-Semitism issues.

Results. We sought to give the reader an opportunity to feel the urgency of the political situation and ideology in the Russian intelligentsia of the period when the novel was created and the review was written. We tried to devote particular attention to the aspects of a psychological phenomena (e.g. consciousness, semantic understanding) and those methodological principles that Vygotsky would later use in his own psychological research.

Findings.The analysis of Vygotsky's review carried out in the paper will help clarify the authenticity of the cultural-historical approach of Vygotsky as psychologist. Keywords:symbolism, artistic features of the text, anti-Semiteism, Sionism, consciousness, self-determination.

Received: 03/23/2019
Accepted: 04/06/2019
Pages: 64-87
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2019.0211

By: ; Klimova, T. A.;

Sections: History of Psychology;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no34-2019/npj_no34_2019_064-087.pdf

Keywords: symbolism; artistic features of the text; Antisemitism; Zionism; consciousness; self-orientation; Vygotsky L.S.;

Available Online 30.01.2019


  1. Aliev Kh.M., Zakharov V.V., Stepanova N.V., & Virzhinskaya E.A. (2006). Relief of acute stress and anti-stress preparation for extreme situations. [Moskovskiy Psikhotherapevticheskiy Zhurnal],4, 131–142.

  2. Bayeva I.A., Vikhristyuk O.V., & Gayazova L.A. (eds.) (2013). Safety of the educational environment: psychological assessment and support: a collection of scientific papers. Moscow, MGPPU, 304.

  3. (2008). Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies: A Handbook for Save the Children Staff by Save the Children [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  4. Elkonin B.D., Arkhipov B.A., Ostroverkh O.S., & Sviridova O.I. (2015). Modernity and age. Moscow, Avtorskiy Klub, 60.

  5. For Teens: Coping after Mass Violence (2018) Published on The National Child Traumatic Stress Network [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  6. EMERCOM Russia Order #525 as of 09/20/2011. On the provision of emergency psychological assistance to the affected population in emergency zones and during fires. Garant.Retrievd from: –(accessed 06.05.19).

  7. Guidelines for Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies (2017) Psychosocial Support in Flooding: Toolbox //International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  8. Guideline Post-traumatic stress disorder (2018). National Institute for Health and Care Exellence [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  9. Iasc Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007). Inter-Agency Standing Committee [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  10. Jerald J. Block, M.D. (2007). Lessons from Columbine: virtual and real rage. American journal of forensic psychiatry.Volume 28, ISSUE 2, 2007 / 1.

  11. Jones, L. (2009). Responding to the needs of children in crisis [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from –(accessed 06.05.19).doi: 10.1080/09540260801996081

  12. The interdepartmental instruction “On the Procedure for the Provision of Emergency Psychological Assistance to the Affected Population in Emergency Situations and during Fire” approved by the decision of the Government Commission on Preventing and Eliminating Emergencies and Ensuring Fire Safety as of 12/19/2012. Garant:Retrieved from: - (accessed 04.24.2019).

  13. Kurilova E.V. (2016). Providing emergency psychological assistance to children affected in emergency situations. [Problemy bezopasnosti zhiznedeyatel'nosti: materialy nauchno-prakticheskoy konferentsii].Moscow, 238–243.

  14. Levine P. (1994). Understanding Childhood Trauma. First Aid for Accidents and Falls. Healing Past Trauma. Mothering,49–54. 

  15. Miller L.V., & Vikhristyuk O.V. (2012). Emergency psychological assistance in the system of metropolitan education. [Sotsial'no-psikhologicheskie problemy issledovaniya bezopasnosti i otsenki v obrazovanii: sbornik nauchnykh statey]. Issue 2. Moscow, Ekon-inform, 9–12.

  16. Mukhina V.S. (2016). Short-term and long-term psychological and social assistance in situations of natural, man-made and social disasters and long-term deprivations. [Razvitie lichnosti],3.

  17. Nancy Boyd Webb (ed.) (2002). Helping bereaved children: a handbook for practitioners. Foreword by Kenneth J. Doka. 2nd ed., 408.

  18. Pavlova T.S. (2012). The system of crisis psychological assistance to subjects of the educational environment in the United States (a review of research over the last decade). [Sovremennaya zarubezhnaya psikhologiya],1, 95–101.

  19. Psychological first aid: Guide for field workers (2011). World Health Organization [A riddle of generation Z]. Retrieved from – (accessed 06.05.19).

  20. Presidential Decree of July 11, 2004 #868 “Civil Defense Affairs of the Ministry of the Russian Federation, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters (with amendments and additions)”. Garant. Retrieved from: –(accessed 04.24.2019).

  21. Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation as of December 30, 2003 #794 “On the Unified State System for the Prevention and Elimination of Emergencies (with amendments and additions)”. Garant. Retrieved from: –(accessed 04.24.2019).

  22. Rubtsova, V.V. & Malykh S.B. (eds.) (2008). Psychology of extreme situations. Moscow, Psikhologicheskiy Institut RAO, 304.

  23. Reshetnikov M.M. (2004). General patterns in the dynamics of the state, behaviour and activities of people in extreme situations with a vital threat: long-term consequences and rehabilitation of the victims. [Vestnik Psikhoterapii],12, 97–111.

  24. Shoigu Yu.S. (2012). Organization of EMERCOM psychological service, Russia. National psychological journal,1, 131–133.

  25. Shoigu Yu.S. (2016). EMERCOM psychological service of Russia: current status and development prospects. [Professional’noe Obrazovanie. Stolitsa],3, 29–33.

  26. Shoigu Yu.S., & Filippova M.V. (2015). Ethical aspects of emergency psychological assistance to representatives of different cultures. [Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta].Series 14. Psychology,3, 108–115.doi:10.11621/vsp.2015.03.108

  27. Shoigu Yu.S. (ed.) (2012). Emergency psychological assistance: a reference book of the EMERCOM psychologist. Moscow, 320.

  28. Shtein B. (2006). Society and tragedy. New role of the school psychologist. [Moskovskiy Psikhotherapevticheskiy Zhurnal],4, 110–121.

  29. Tarabrina N.V. (2001). Workshop on the psychology of post-traumatic stress. St. Petersburg, Piter, 272.

  30. Varga A.Ya., & Zhornyak E.S. (2005). Time after the tragedy [Moskovskiy Psikhotherapevticheskiy Zhurnal],1, 124–139.

  31. Wenger A.L., Morozova A.I., & Morozov V.A. (2006). Psychological assistance to children and adolescents in emergency situations (based on the experience of working with the victims of the terrorist act in Beslan) [Moskovskiy Psikhotherapevticheskiy Zhurnal], 1, 131–159.

  32. Yuen, A. (2007) Discovering children’s responses to trauma: a response-based narrative practice / The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work 3(4), 3–18.

For citing this article:

Vladimir S. Sobkin, Tatiana A. Klimova. (2019). Lev Vygotsky about Andrei Bely’s novel «Petersburg» (comments on the review). National Psychological Journal. 2, 64-87

About Editorial Board Volumes Authors For Authors Indexing Contacts

National Psychological Journal, 2006 - 2020