the "Bakhtin Circle' in its own time and ours
The papers collected in this issue of SEET were originally presentations delivered to the 15th International Bakhtin Conference held in Stockholm, Sweden in July, 2014. This was the first conference in the series to be held since completion of the publication of the Collected Works (Sobranie sočinenija) of Bakhtin (1996, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2012). Though originally scheduled as a seven-volume set, to have included a final volume containing works published in the name of Ivan Kanaev, Valentin Vološinov and Pavel Medvedev, this was abbreviated to six volumes [albeit with volume four in two parts (2008, 2010)] of works about which there is no reasonable doubt about Bakhtin’s sole authorship. This was a significant revision of the original editorial plan, and probably reflects the impact of the significant amount of archival work conducted by a number of scholars that has significantly strengthened the case for the authorship of Vološinov and Medvedev to be taken seriously. It should be noted that one of the figures responsible for such work was Pavel Medvedev’s son Jurij, who died in October 2013, and about whose life and work a special session was held (for an obituary see Brandist 2013). Although differences of opinion persist on the authorship of these works, and the extensive editorial apparatus of the Collected Works bears one such perspective, it has become increasingly untenable to maintain a perspective on the work of Bakhtin that does not take into serious consideration the discussions that took place within what is now (not unproblematically) called the ‘Bakhtin Circle’. Most participants working in the area certainly welcomed the change in editorial policy, and the session in honour of Jurij Pavlovič often focused on the implications for understanding the works of each individual participant in the ‘Circle’.
Brandist, C. (2015). Introduction: the "Bakhtin Circle' in its own time and ours. Studies in East European Thought 67 (3-4), pp. 123-128.
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