By R. Bracht Branham
Mikhail Bakhtin's severe and theoretical experiments have encouraged unique paintings within the humanities and social sciences, yet Bakhtin and the Classics is the 1st ebook to target the connection among Bakhtin and classical reviews, the self-discipline within which Bakhtin himself used to be expert. basically demonstrating the basic value of classical literature in his paintings, Bakhtin and the Classics expands our figuring out of either Bakhtin's inspiration and the literary and cultural heritage of antiquity.
The authors, eminent classicists and exceptional critics of Bakhtin, positioned Bakhtin into discussion with the classics--and classicists into discussion with Bakhtin. every one essay bargains a severe account of an incredible element of Bakhtin's idea and examines the worth of his process within the context of literary or cultural historical past. starting with an summary of Bakhtin's suggestion of carnival laughter, probably his relevant serious proposal, the amount explores Bakhtin's proposal and writing on the subject of Homer's epic verse. Catullus's lyric poetry, old Roman novels, and Greek philosophy from Aristotle's concept of narrative to the paintings of Antiphon the Sophist. the implications are of curiosity and value to Bakhtinians, theorists, and classicists.
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Extra info for Bakhtin and the classics
But within a comedic framework, rectifying a wrong is complex. A self-centered, heroic, or sacrificial resolution of conflict and sin is usually suspect. We are destined— that is, doomed— to survive. " That self is always concrete but shapeless, denied an elegant closure, and for that reason always more or less alive. In our attempt to place Bakhtin's spiritualized carnival in context, our third and final comedic exemplar is in certain ways the most obvious, the one worldtext that comes immediately to mind.
As was Bakhtin himself, the Russian populists were influenced by German Romanticism and were heavily invested in the mystique of "the people"—which, in their polemical tracts, was presented as uncomplicated in its needs, unstratified in its social organization, and utopian in its virtues. At this point Brandist makes a fertile remark that can bridge the two eras, prerevolutionary and postrevolutionary, and help relocate Bakhtin within his own time. The Russian populists (unlike the more urban-minded industrialists and Marxists) put their faith in the peasant commune,- its ethos of collective responsibility and routine redistribution of wealth were destined to define Russia's future as distinct from the crumbling, consumer-oriented West.
Are there any duties that come with comedic or carnival terrain? The type of laughter that Bakhtin appears to have valued most is not verbal (that is, not satire, wit, wordplay, or the genius of Aristophanes, who goes almost unnoticed in Bakhtin's world). It does not manifest itself in fixed structures or narratives. It will not tell you what is good and what is evil. It is an attitude, a flexibility of the spirit. What are its obligations? They reduce, I believe, to one: wherever we find ourselves, our duty is to add options to the terrain, not to subtract them.
Bakhtin and the classics by R. Bracht Branham