PEL Presents (sub)Text: Spiritual Matters in Chekhov's "The Student" and "A Medical Case"

PEL Presents (sub)Text: Spiritual Matters in Chekhov's "The Student" and "A Medical Case"

By Mark Linsenmayer, Wes Alwan, Seth Paskin, Dylan Casey

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

Saturday, 24 April

In Chekhov’s stories, beautiful natural surroundings are often a setting for unnatural lives and ugly social conditions. This sets the stage for a reflection on the relationship between physical and spiritual needs. His story “The Student” suggests that material deprivation--whether it is the exhaustion of the apostle Peter or the poverty of the Russian peasant--can undermine the capacity for fidelity and cultivation. In “A Medical Case,” a young heiress is made physically ill by her guilty awareness of oppressive conditions in her family’s factories. Can art, science, and faith truly redeem the individual human spirit without first transforming its social environment?

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Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.

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