Memento Mori, In Memoriam – Daria Platonova Dugina

Daria Aleksandrovna Platonova Dugina (15 December 1992 – 20 August 2022)

[Статья доступна на русском языке на]


Memento Mori, In Memoriam – Daria Platonova Dugina

There are decades when nothing happens, there are days when centuries unravel and explode, and there are singular moments in which eternity irrupts like lightning, torching timeframes and perceptions of temporality in an incalculable, ecstatic instant, only to spiral back into the dark and leave behind an even thicker, heavier, mysteriously endured duration of the here and now…. 

…. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace“….

The 20th day of August, the year 2022, according to “our” vulgar, arbitrary calendar… A dark night… A bomb, an explosion… Flames… Death… Cars and sirens… Messages and calls… Reports!… Where was time? Whose timing? Whence and whither? Time stopped. Its source irrupted, seized what was its, whipped those oblivious to it, and recoiled from thought, leaving only horror, fear, shock, and pain for an endless moment. Even before the smoke cleared, its secret was unleashed to stay. 

Daria was dead. Daria Platonova Dugina. The latter last name was her birthright, her predestined initiation, while the former surname was her election. She chose, lived up to, and died for both. Her time came suddenly and in circumstances which only her name could have forecast. 

In fact, she was killed. As Platonova, she was killed as Hypatia. As Dugina, she was assassinated as the Russian messenger, as the bearer of Eurasia, as the liaison to Europe’s soul, as the Radical Subject, as the Holy Rus’ “not yet”, as the recollection, regeneration, reinitiation of all that is to be thought, as the danger of seeking the absolute bliss of the father of all in the end. As Daria, as everyday Dasha, she was murdered as a “reporter” and as the lovable soul dancing on the horizon. 

“Dasein may refuse”, she sang, but hers was Eigentliches… yet neither in life nor in death only hers. “They” did not “make” Daria a martyr; she is a martyr, because she was who she is instead of nothing. Daria — Intellect, Goodness, Beauty, Authenticity — was killed by those who represent the ignorant and the soulless, the evil and the corrupt, the perverted and the ugly, the illegitimate, false, fake, forged, and simulacral, by those who strive to distance themselves from their own deeds out of the most haunting fear of the real, the right, and the returning. Their own desert encroaches from within, seeking desperately to offset its sands and claim some root by lashing out at those who see and expose its barren sourcelessness, its wastelands, its illusory waters. The iron atoms of beinglessness try to extinguish beings, as if in so doing they stand a chance of brandishing being and will, yet their victims always outlive them, for the manifest can never be made into an illusion beyond the limits of what is already to be revealed. In being killed by temporary imposters, Daria nullified their claim to History, becoming herself Historic before, against, after, and beyond their desired “end.” In the moment of her killing, Daria was called into eternity, rightfully leaving behind a seemingly infinite moment of helpless gazing into the fires of the father of all — perhaps real, perhaps imitated by those who know not their father and will only know fire in their more or less distant future.

A deep silence inevitably sets in amidst such loud, fiery events. Such comes not nearly as much out of fear, shock, or respect as it does out of the very anticipation of the moment, when in Mongolia herds of horses on the plain stand fixed to attention, herds of sheep and cattle crouch down to the ground, birds stop flying, marmots cease running and dogs do not bark, when the air trembles and brings from afar the music of a song which penetrates the hearts of Gods, men, and animals alike, when the earth and sky hold their breath, when the winds and Sun halt, the knife falls from the hand, and all beings are thrown into prayerful listening to the bellowing whispers of fate – “Thus it has always been whenever the King of the World in his subterranean palace prays and searches out the destiny of all peoples on the earth.” In this instant, when time stops and eternity makes its appearance, silence is where everything of significance is heard and said – for in the very next instant, everything comes crashing back, and those who have not under-stood, those who instead scramble to take account of their standing, stand at the mercy of excommunication from the ways that have always been, are, and shall be.

For those who participate in the tradition in which Daria was raised and which she professed to her deepest core, the 40 days after this moment were for prayer for her soul to ascend from wanderings, trials, and attacks. In this way, the fixation on eternity is extended, but without its presence — instead, with its anticipation, crystallized into a duration of infinitely hard treading. In these days, silence is the hardest, sight is a painful infliction, and thinking is a trial of the soul, a temptation of the spirit, a torment of the mind which threatens to paralyze or, conversely, agitate the heart supposed to be surrendered to the fate of mercy. Yet, it is in this same darkness and mist that the Thought, the Idea, the Eidetic Personhood of the deceased appears, awaiting and manifesting its own time amidst the withdrawal of the eternity reclaiming it.

When the death of a person, or more significantly a personality, a personhood, confronts us only with the events and characteristics of their life, we can consider ourselves among the undead looking on. When their death confronts us with our own finitude and vulnerability deriving some meaning from them, we can consider ourselves among the last living humans. When death initiates us into the meaning of death as a new beginning, we draw nearer to the Gods, to the Holy and Sacred, to the Eternal, to the Temporality of Time, and to the Due, to the Predestined imperatives of infinite freedom, to all the manifest truths of the “Old World” as it has always been, as it is, and as it shall be. When death comes to us in the time and setting of War, and especially in the midst of the hypocritical claim that those who do not fight by arms are “not supposed” to die by arms, we find ourselves face-to-face not only with all of the above as if at once, compacted into a shell that explodes on impact yet never extinguishes, but even more so with the mystery of the primordial abyss away from which the Logos is set forth without words or “reason”, but by all means with cause. There is no time to such death. It “just” is — here, after, forever. If we “take eternity seriously”, then we recognize that such death had to be. And for this reason, from this source, by this way, and only then, do we turn to life. The act of remembering, which is only truly such in relation to death, therefore becomes no mere “fond recalling”, “pondering of memories”, or “reminiscing”, but a new beginning, a reattunement, a rediscovered resoluteness to live and die for everything that is beyond life. This is the way to honoring a life after death.

To hear Daria, to see Daria, to read Daria, to treat or under-standingly interpret Daria, to remember and attempt to recall Daria — such will never come to be in “biographies” or, even worse, “journalism”, a craft which she herself mastered and exposed and inwardly transcended. Nor can such come in Philosophy or Poetry alone, although her voice and her silence were beginning to resound in both. Through Daria, we come to know the flashing unconcealing and concealing, the aletheia, the “truthing” of the words of one of her poetic godfathers: “Я знаю: слово «поэзия» — Это отнюдь не стихи…” We tremble before the question of translation… Is it “I know: the word ‘poetry’ is beyond poems”? Or “I know: the word ‘poetry’ is by no means [only?] verses”? Or “I know: the word ‘poetry’ is from here on out not verses”? Or is it “I know: the word ‘poesy’ is perfectly not only poetry”? Poiesis was Daria’s vocation, her thought, her art, her logic. In its lighting up and in its untranslatable withdrawing from us, in its obviousness and in its opaqueness, in its time and in its eternity, this passage also passes us on to Daria’s language and dwelling, to Russian and Russia, which forever bring into the light things which are ignored and left in the darkness. Daria’s poetic philosophizing was essentially Russian, i.e., it is unread and unaccepted by, yet intimately familiar and sympathetic with, but long since thoughtfully, inspiringly dancing beyond that which is “subjected” and “objected” in the lands of the West, Zapad, where the sun sets instead of rising. Have you ever beheld the Midnight Sun? Daria did several times, in the West and in the East, in the North and in the South, and then once and for all. In the most imaginable Russian way, she brought much into the light, but in the dark, in the shadow of the Sphinx, under the shade of the wings of the two-headed eagle of the impossible dream of reality concealed from and because of many.

“Alexander Gelyevich, your tragedy has become the pain of millions. Believe it, people around the whole world are now experiencing this pain as if it were their own.” Since these high political words were uttered, Daria has been — for her death — awarded, enshrined in artworks and on streets, and seen off with an outpouring of, indeed, millions of condolences and dozens of memorial events attended by elites and masses. Archives of her pictures, works, and appearances are already spontaneously arising. Soon enough, the first attempts at compiling her cut-short oeuvre will make themselves known. Grand political and geopolitical gestures have already accompanied her ascent. Shells with her name inscribed have been fired. The killing of Daria Platonova Dugina — and the “qualifying” and “objective reporting” of such by the official media of states which sanctioned her — has given way to an awakening of unanticipated, deserved proportions.

Daria’s assassination as Dugina, killing as Platonova, and murder as Daria have crossed the “t’s” and dotted the “i’s” of more than the algorithms and decomposing focus groups of administrations and “reporters” are capable of conceiving, formulating, handling. There has been a scrambling to try to take account of, reframe, and “nuance-away” the surprisingly unrestrained outcry of unexpected millions who have felt in Daria’s murder an unrectractable, awakening violation of the last strings of deeply held surviving civilizational values, a perfidious cowardice of the most unredeemable ilk, a crime of the sort that will face no court and therefore deserves no trial, and, even more so, a strike thrown in such a trajectory that its only possible response can only be one of overwhelming, cunning magnitude. An act has been committed by those who suddenly realized its consequences only in the last moment. The last minimally sane handlers and custodians of those who fumble around the reins of official “follow up” face a dawning which they are unprepared to comprehend, contain, and suppress. For, unlike Daria, they know neither poetry nor death. Unlike those who stood or learned to stand by Daria, they know not or have ill-advisedly neglected the ways of the “Old World” when a beloved young woman is taken. Stooped in their disemboweled illusions of “history” and “world [dis]order”, they have forgotten not only the most elementary folklore, but the great telling of Troy… 

“They see our thought and our philosophy as a direct threat. That is why they target our philosophers for assassination.” In these words, uttered by one of the most powerful heads of state, the leader of Russia, who has undertaken to win war, we hear not merely the insinuation of cowardice and disdain, but an honest exposure of utmost failure and loss of understanding, perspective, and future, of thinking and existing in the world of peoples, ideas, and histories, of truths, falsehoods, and legends, of the art of War and the conditions of Pax. Completely at a loss, consisting only of loss, and striving only towards a minimizing of losses for the lost, those behind Daria’s killing have at their own peril forgotten what it means to incite not only Hate, but Love and Care for the Soul of the World. In their attempts at engineering the loss of identity, they have lost the last shred of being capable of recognizing the meaning of the human, the dead, and the sways of the last living. In killing Platonova, in murdering Daria, in assassinating Dugina, they have inadvertently taken upon themselves the necessarily incalculable consequences of “calculated thinking” void of real factors. With this heinous attempt at an end, “they” have lost the toleration of being a “them”, a “someone” in the eyes not only of sensible masses, but of the world-wondering visions of all those whose life and death are now one in the unveiling of Words, Ideas, Visions, and Realities, on whose plane Dugina was an honest and respected ambassador. Before Daria’s murder, just as many of those initiated as those onlooking from the sidelines were watching and waiting, complaining and lauding, freezing and burning, suffering and sympathizing from a distance, externally emigrating or inwardly migrating both despite and in view of every blockade of speaking, hearing, watching, conversing, and thinking. Dugina’s martyrdom has irrevocably struck a raw nerve. Daria’s funeral, as political as such was, was as such only an inkling of what is to come on more intensive and extensive planes. 

Beyond meditating on Daria’s death, its meaning and its consequences, we are compelled by her killing to remind ourselves and “them” of her single most potent — and, coincidentally or not, last — milestone philosophical expression: “eschatological optimism.” On this “front” — or “frontier” as one of her last lectures addressed — Daria evoked the words of René Guénon: “The ‘end of a world’ never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.” Eschatological optimism cannot be delimited, for in attempting to “determine” the “eschatological” and “optimism”, we relinquish the essential point of living, of being and thinking eschatologically and optimistically at once, that is in the ever-present moment of eternity in endings of times. In Daria’s time. In ours. We have no right to delimit the End, nor the “end” of Daria, nor do we have the right to define what should be the empirical scope of optimism. Rather, we must live and die eschatologically and optimistically, dancing on the horizon of smiling and laughing at the case that “Dasein may refuse”, but not ours, and not hers, in the ecstasy of beholding the Great Event. Whether this Event seems to begin happening on one or another front, in the overcoming facticity of contemplating what it means that Daria was killed, or in the task of kneeling before the manifestation of eternity in time so as to then stand up on a plane on which death is no longer the primordial fear, but the freely, unanimously accepted and “owned” condition of leaping over the boundaries of one’s own life — in any case, but especially in this one, and at any rate, but in this special moment and its aftermath, and in such a situation, yet especially in this one’s origin’s coming to meet us from the future, we honor Daria beyond Daria, which is to say that we honor Daria because of how Daria was and is instead of nothing. With thanks and thoughts by Daria’s death, those who previously only in theoretical words now practically, livingly do not fear death.

Finally, a personal memory. As she seemed to stressfully rush and gracefully hover between rooms, paintings, stages, computers, conversations, and meetings, Daria turned, smiled and said: “This is the meaning of the ‘totalitarian.’” These words could not be more perfect as an example: her ignorant detractors, who, while hesitating to snatch such a quote from this source, will certainly rush to twist such into half-baked and pseudo-intellectual journalistic insinuations, salivating as they sprint around the hamster wheel of the only dying ideology whose figureheads are now stained by Daria’s blood — these “anybodies” will do so without even the most basic human feeling for life and death or the most elementary understanding of what it means to “write”; at the same time, quietly yet resoundingly over the expanses of countless circles and dispersed unities which have since drawn in millions of sympathizers, Daria’s words will ring and be handed along in at least one disclosable sense. That sense is the total, all-encompassing embrace of doing what must be done, handling what much be treated, thinking what must be thought, speaking what must be said, and meeting what must be met — all along the path of being in this time but not of the times, of being “totally integral” amidst so many seemingly incommensurable dimensions. Totally. Absolutely. Resolutely. Endlessly — all in readiness for a sudden end by which our own beginning might in any moment be detonated above and beyond, but because of, our own willing and doing. No algorithms or car bombs can vanquish the total wholeness of this way of being in the time when Daria ascends, leaving a light for those left descending further into the dark with the flickering promise of comparable moments of illumination….


Carthago delenda est

Memento mori...

Forward – the End, but what can be sweeter and more bitter than this meeting… ‘Wann endet die Zeit? Gott weiß es. Gott alein weiß es’“…


– Jafe Arnold

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