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Early Soviet research projects and the developments of "Bakhtinian" ideas: the view from the archives

Brandist, C. (2006) Early Soviet research projects and the developments of "Bakhtinian" ideas: the view from the archives. In: Proceedings of the XII International Bakhtin Conference, Jyvaskyla,. University of Jyvaskyla , Jyvaskyla, Finland , pp. 144-156. ISBN 10951392725

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Abstract

[FIRST PARAGRAPH] When the history of Bakhtin studies is finally written, one particularly ironic aspect that will stand out is that an accurate understanding of the development of dialogic ideas has required us to liberate ourselves from a series of monologic myths. Such thinking, to paraphrase Bakhtin himself, 'impoverished' our understanding, 'disorganised and bled' an accurate image of the dynamics of intellectual formation, by 'mixing it up' with 'fantastic' and 'estranged' notions and 'rounding it out' into a 'mythological whole' (Bakhtin 1979 [l 936-81: 224; 1986 [l 936-81: 43) Four particularly persistent varieties may be briefly summarised as follows: 1) Bakhtin was a thoroughly original thinker who thought up all his ideas crA mhilo, 2) Bakhtin surrounded himself with mediocrities and there was a unidirectional flow of ideas from him to, say, Voloshinov and Medvedev, 3) Bakhtin was an 'unofficial' thinker who chose to remain outside the dominant trends within Soviet scholarship and was fundamentally unaffected by that scholarship, 4) where Bakhtin was compelled to engage with Soviet scholarship the result was either rebuttal or inner subversion rather than serious engagement. I will refrain from identifying specific works in which these myths are present since they permeated the majority of research in the field until relatively recently and they have receded only gradually. Furthermore, the myths have not uniformly disintegrated, but have retreated unevenly in the face of a varying amount and quality of research in specific areas.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Department of Languages,University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of Modern Languages (Sheffield) > Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:51
Status: Published
Publisher: University of Jyvaskyla
Refereed: No
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2134

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