The Bakhtin Circle: Philosophy, Culture and Politics

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.