Mikhail Bakhtin and the group of thinkers known as the Bakhtin Circle have had a massive influence on contemporary literary and cultural theory. Bakhtin is recognised as perhaps the key theorist on the novel as a genre, and his writings on carnival in popular culture are a recurrent theme in cultural studies. The influence of the Circle has recently spread into social theory, philosophy and psychology, which means that a narrow literary approach is now inadequate for fully understanding the breadth of their ideas. Moreover, recent research has revolutionised our understanding of the work of the Bakhtin Circle and retranslation has shown that many of the existing translations are significantly flawed. It is also now clear that the work of the Circle was the product of discussions between members of an extraordinary group of scholars. This is the first book to bring together this significant new research on the Circle, setting it within a historical and intellectual context and emphasising the importance of the work of the Circle as a whole.
Craig Brandist offers a new look at the significance of Bakhtin's legacy, and brings into clearer focus the contribution of others in the circle--including Voloshinov, Medvedev, Pumpianskii and Kagan--whose work has so often been obscured, assessing the fundamental role they played in shaping Bakhtinian thought.
Craig Brandist is lecturer in Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield and former Max Hayward Fellow of Russian Literature at St Antony's College, Oxford (1994-6). He is the author of Carnival Culture and the Soviet Modernist Novel (Palgrave, 1996) and Materializing Bakhtin: the Bakhtin Circle and Social Theory (Palgrave, 2000) co-edited with Galin Tihanov, as well as numerous articles dedicated to Russian literature, cultural theory and intellectual history.
1. Introduction 2. Early Ethical and Aesthetic Philosophy of the Circle 1919-26 3. Marxism, Semiotics and Sociology 1926-29 4. From Verbal Interaction to Dialogue: Dostoevsky and the Novel 5. The Novel and Literary History 1934-41 6. The Novelist as Philosopher 1940-63 7. Final Methodological Works 8. The Bakhtinian Research Programme Yesterday and Today Abbreviations and References in the text Bibliography Index