12 thoughts on “Musings on Yuri Gagarin, 60 years afterwards”

  1. Happy Cosmonautics Day!! Russian Space exploits dominated our news too lately.

    Russia’s success in rapidly producing three vaccines for the Covid-19 virus is a sign that the country retains considerable scientific-technological potential.

    Not that it matters much, but apparently there seems a lot of mistrust in the Sputnik V data. In Germany only, or in the EU more generally. Didn’t have any time, let alone patience looking into matters. Only a repetition of the hysterics around AstraZeneca? Tragic deaths which on the other hand are statistically irrelevant? Both vaccines seem to use the same approach.


  2. Nikolai Fedorov was the librarian at the Rumyantsev Library in Moscow, and not a librarian in St. Petersburg, and it was there that Tsiolkovsky came under his influence. Tsiolkovsky was not alone, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were both great admirers of Fedorov , and they came across his ideas from meeting him in the reading room at the library. So he was not exactly unknown, especially to those with a reader’s ticket to the famous Rumyantsev Library (later part of the Lenin Library and latterly the National State Library). Fedorov published very little in his lifetime, so it is no surprise that few people were familiar with his works since his writings were only published posthumously, having been collected by his followers and edited into the volume titled “The Common Cause”. I would have expected a university professor to get his facts straight but perhaps that’s of little matter when sharing his far from original thoughts with RT


    1. Apologies for the error regarding the location of the library – sometimes little details like this slip through. I’ll get it fixed. Otherwise, though, I believe that the facts are indeed ‘straight’. You could have added Vladimir Solovyov as another admirer of Fyodorov. He was oddly influential, but it is still true that few people read him.


      1. Actually my impulse was to ask Paul to erase this babbling sequence …

        On the other hand, I am pleased that I was wrong. For whatever reason. My spiritual friend’s book is available both in the university library and the local library system.

        As is Paul’s book on Russian Conservatism. …

        But concerning the former, one question, how much time would it need to erase an “assumed standard” in the field? Or Myth? I did encounter those endlessly perpetrated standards too in my fields.


    2. Curiously enough Nikolai Fedorov was the focus of the doctoral thesis of one of my closest spiritual friends in times of confusion: Michael Hagemeister. Maybe I should read it. … Already donated one of his books to my university library. As some kind of spiritual, thank you.

      Curiously enough one or other well-informed bookseller and librarian are among my top memory-favorites. Although I met a lot more ‘humans’ then ‘spirits’ inside their respective branches.


    3. Already donated one of his books to my university library. As some kind of spiritual, thank you.

      Actually, I ordered it twice once I discovered it. Swiss publication. The local bookshop had informed me about a two-week delivery period, while the Switzerland’s publisher delivered it in no time at all. The local bookshop had ignored my cancellation. … Very, very complicated study. … as happens with every a closer look: Bern Trials 1933-35.

      Still …

      Curious. It should be by now in the catalog, but it isn’t? How many years passed by now? … Gotta ask them… There was a problem to find the right field, categorically? What happened with the publication?


      1. I know, I shouldn’t do this, but …

        Further private mental meanderings:
        Hmm, the book is available via the ‘Germanica Judaica’ within the Cologne City Library, strictly both university library and city library belong together. That would make a lot of sense. Students would be able to find it in the catalog, but it too would be open to a wider city audience.

        In fact, the Bern Trials–or in a nutshell Swiss Jews facing Swiss Nazi’s supported by Germany–may have established a basic myth, repeated over and over again. No doubt necessary in its time and space. How would you fight fiction on trial? Worse with no law to handle it as real fiction? Apparently it was thought impossible to handle with facts, The way out was a counter tale based on some surely colorful (white? …) witnesses.

        But there was also, I seem to remember an ignored Russian historian in the larger process.


  3. People can say what they will. But they can never take away the fact that Yuri Gagarin bravely and cheerfully stepped into a tin can and let himself be shot into space, fully expecting to die; and yet hoping to live.

    And lived! Bravo, Yuri! And Bravo, the nation which dared to pull off such a feat!

    P.S. – he’s my super-hero, in case anybody didn’t know…


    1. It is wonderful that Yury is finally getting some world recognition that he deserves. For many years American propaganda downplayed his feat and even tried to slime his personality. Like, casting shadows on his life and death.

      If you stop any American on the street and ask who was the first man in space, 99/100 will say “John Glenn”. Whose achievement is also not to be downplayed, but he was not the first.


    2. Russia/USSR also didn’t need #metoo! Already in 1963 she sent the first woman into space. Which is another story. But maybe not?

      My excuses for not being quite in tune today. ;


  4. As it happens with any momentous event I do remember the day when the radio announcement of Gagarin’s flight had been made.



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