Losev Alexey Fedorovich - Russian philosopher and philologist.
Alexey Losev was born on September 23, 1893 in the south of Russia, in Novocherkassk. His father was a teacher of mathematics, but he quickly left his family and his mother raised the boy. She was a strict religious woman, who gave her son a comprehensive education.
The first educational institution of Alexei Losev was the classical gymnasium in Novocherkassk. The gymnasium program provided, in addition to a comprehensive study of the exact and human sciences, an extensive course of the Law of God. In addition to classes, Losev “went to the theater eight times a week”, wrote and read magazines “Around the World”, “Nature and People”, “Herald of Knowledge” and others, graduated from the private class of playing the violin, sang in the church choir, was fond of astronomy and the philosophy of Vladimir Solovyov. Alexei left the gymnasium as a gold medalist. Losev recalled that at that time he was already a "ready-made philosopher and philologist."
In 1911, Losev easily entered Moscow University, and at once into two departments: philosophical and classical philology. After graduation, Losev was offered to seek a professorship, and was sent to Berlin as a reward: he worked there at the Royal Library and listened to Richard Wagner's operas. This trip was the only visit to a philosopher abroad.
Losev visited the Religious and Philosophical Society in Memory of Vladimir Solovyov, where he met with the greatest philosophers of the Silver Age - Nikolai Berdyaev, Semyon Frank, Ivan Ilyin, Plato Florensky. There Losev read out his university diploma “Aeschylus Worldview”, which was highly appreciated by the famous symbolist Vyacheslav Ivanov.
In 1917, Losev rented a room in the Sokolov family on Vozdvizhenka Street. The owner’s daughter Valentina fell in love with the scientist, and three years later they became husband and wife. In 1922, the young married, but secretly: Soviet persecution of the church had already begun. The ceremony in Sergiev Posad was conducted by Pavel Florensky. In 1929, the young couple accepted the monastic tonsure of the Athos elders.
Alex received the name Andronic, and Valentine became Athanasius. The Losevs became consistent followers of the name-worship, which accepted the philosophy of the name as the “original” essence of the world. It was then that Losev began to wear the famous little hat - skufu, part of the monastic vestments - and the room on Vozdvizhenka became a kind of cell of the spouses. He wrote about his marriage: “Can anyone, except a monk, understand that true monasticism is matrimony, and true marriage is monasticism?”
In the 1920s, difficult times came for a philosophy other than Marxism. Since it was unthinkable to publish philosophical works in a state way, Losev decided to act on his own, and from 1927 to 1930 he published eight books with the mark "author's publication." The last book of the cycle - “The Dialectics of Myth” - became fatal for the author. In it, Losev revealed the concept of "myth" on the example of Soviet reality and ironized the idea of building socialism in a single country.
The censorship commission excluded unacceptable fragments from the book, but Losev returned them, although he perfectly understood what threatened his whole family. There is an entry in Valentina’s diaries: “Martyrdom is coming for the confession of Christ. Or you have to go into the desert, or the feat of confession."
On the night of April 18, 1930, they came to the apartment on Vozdvizhenka, and Losev was taken to Lubyanka. In addition to the charges related to the Dialectic of Myth, he and Valentina were charged with the The Russian True Orthodox Church. Losev was assigned a term of 10 years in the camps.
The scientist was serving his sentence at the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal. He recalled that he had to work for 12 hours, standing waist-deep in icy water. During the night, clothes did not have time to dry out, which is why Losev quickly developed rheumatism. The vision of the philosopher was rapidly deteriorating - he was almost blind. After that, he was transferred to the post of firewood guard. Losev recalled that during these shifts he invented the work "Dialectical Foundations of Mathematics." Valentina Loseva was serving her sentence at Sverlag, where she worked as a bookkeeper at a logging business.
In 1933, the construction of the White Sea Canal was completed, and Losev was released. They were able to return to Moscow.
However, the return of civil rights did not mean a return to former life. Losev was forbidden to work in a direct specialty, and to find a livelihood, from 1938 to 1941, the scientist went to work at the pedagogical institutes of Kuybyshev, Cheboksary, Poltava, where he lectured on the history of ancient literature. He also was engaged in the restoration of manuscripts seized during the search. Translated a lot. In those years, Losev prepared the two-volume “Ancient Mythology” and began working on the “History of Ancient Aesthetics”.
In 1942, Losev was again invited to teach at Moscow University. However, after two years, the scientist again faced the charge of idealism: it is believed that a denunciation was written on Losev. A new link was avoided, but the scientist was fired from the university.
In 1944, he miraculously got a new place: he became a professor at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, where he worked until the end of his career, first at the philological department, and then at the department of linguistics. All this time, Losev was deprived of the opportunity to publish, worked at the table.
Close friends were very worried about Losev's departure from big science, compared his teaching with hammering nails with a violin. However, it was Losev’s school that gave Russian philosophy the largest experts and original thinkers - Sergei Averintsev and Vladimir Bibikhin, who went to his classes as volunteers.
Losev received the opportunity to print after the death of Stalin. In a short time, Valentina Loseva prepared the articles “Olympic mythology”, “Aesthetic terminology of early Greek literature” and “Hesiod and mythology” for release.
In 1954, Valentina Loseva died. Soon after, Losev married his graduate student and close family friend, Aze Tahoe-Godi. Losev’s marriage with Aza was formal, it was a “marriage in science." Aza prepared most of Losev's works for publication, in total during the life of the scientist about 500 were published, including several dozen monographs. It was Aza who initiated the creation of the library of Russian philosophy and culture on the Arbat. Today, this library is known as the Losev House, a center for the preservation of the philosopher’s heritage.
In the 1980s, Losev was completely blind. Along with the subject, Losev openly spoke to his students about his faith - the name of the Slavs - which he carried, despite the repressions, through his whole life. Shortly before the scientist’s death, documentary filmmaker Viktor Kosakovsky made the film Losev about him.
Alexey Losev died in 1988 and was buried in the Vagankovsky cemetery.
Aleksei Fedorovich Losev: bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. K 115 godovschine so dnia rozhdeniia. Ed. G.M. Mukhamedzhanova and T.V. Chepurenko. Biblioteka russkoi filosofii i kul’tury “Dom A.F. Loseva.” FAIR, 2008.