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Mikhail Bakhtin Paperback – January 31, 1986

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (January 31, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674574176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674574175
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katerina Clark is Professor of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Walter O. Koenig on November 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the only Biography of Mikhail Bakhtin available in English. Published in 1984, it is now outdated, but it is still worth reading for those interested in Bakhtin and his work. The Biography more or less follows the chronological order of his life, and therefore is helpful in placing his work in a particular time. This is important because the English Translations, especially the Essay compilations, "Dialogic Imagination" and "Speech Genres and other Late Essays", tend to mix work from diferent periods in his life. Bakhtin's thought changed and developed in his life, and this Biography helps make sense of this. Actual details and anecdotes of Bakhtin's life, that help putting a "man behind the work", are disappointingly scant. The reader will not learn much about what Bakhtin actually did outside his work in this Literary Biography. Most of all, I would have been interested in his reading likes, as well as dislikes, and his opinions of Authors and Literary Theorists. Otherwise, this Biogrpahy is well written and researched, but now out of date. For Bakhtin studies a new Biography is neded, and even more importantly a Critical Edition of his work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on March 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Intellectuals in societies which are quick to proclaim their own freedoms also have a tendency to support individuals in an opposing totalitarian system who have subversive attitudes and defy the structure of repressive societies. Highly modern societies have identified forms of oppression which make it easy for young people to turn against traditional values by identifying with entertainment personalities who can make opposition to mundane social norms entertaining by holding the creeps who end up on top up to ridicule. Of the fifteen chapters in MIKHAIL BAKHTIN by Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist (Harvard University Press, 1984), the emphasis on comic themes increases as the book approaches Chapter 14, Rabelais and His World (pp. 295-320). Halfway there, Chapter 7, Freudianism, set in the 1920s, includes the idea that Freud could attack dominant philosophies because his science had "an ambition to locate a world beyond the social and the historical, a search for this world precisely in the depths of the organic--these are the features that pervade all systems of contemporary philosophy and constitute the symptom of the disintegration and decline of the bourgeois world." (p. 176). The revolutionary soviet society of Mikhail Bakhtin's lifetime (1895-1975) included perverse efforts to direct intellectuals to exalt the lowest of the people, on the one hand, as the secret police also tried to stifle any enemies of the ultimate power of the ruling system of ideas, on the other hand, based on building an advanced industrial society that exalted superpower values over other global values.Read more ›
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