Bakhtinian Thought: An Introductory Reader

Bakhtinian Thought: An Introductory Reader

Bakhtinian Thought: An Introductory Reader

Bakhtinian Thought: An Introductory Reader

Synopsis

Mikhail Bakhtin, and the writers associated with him, are of great importance to the traditions of literary theory and criticism. In particular, his concept of locating utterances in a "dialogical" situation has contributed immensely to theories of linguistics, language, and literature, and philosophy. InBakhtin Thought, Simon Dentith provides a lucid and approachable introduction to the work of Bahktin and his circle, taking the reader helpfully through the many areas of their thought. Dentith indicates the points of contention, difficulty, and importance. The book not only draws together together the often disparately collected writing of Bakhtin, but also that of Voloshinov and Medvedev, language theorists of commensurable importance as well.

Excerpt

The interpretation of culture never stands still. Modern approaches to familiar problems adjust our sense of their importance, and new ideas focus on fresh details or remake accepted concepts. This has been especially true over recent years when developments across the humanities have altered so many ideas.

For many this revolution in understanding has been exciting but difficult, involving the need to integrate advanced theoretical work with attention to specific texts and issues. This series attempts to approach this difficulty in a new way by putting together a new balance of basic texts and detailed, introductory exposition.

Each volume in the series will be organized in two parts. Part One provides a thorough account of the topic under discussion. It details important concepts, historical developments and the contemporary context of interpretation and debate. Part Two provides an anthology of classic texts or-in the case of very recent work-essays by leading writers which offer focused discussions of particular issues. Commentary and editorial material provided by the author connect the explanations in Part One to the materials in Part Two, and in this way the reader moves comfortably between original work and enabling introduction.

The series will include volumes on topics which have been of particular importance recently. Some books will introduce specific theoretical ideas; others will re-examine bodies of literary or other material in the light of current thinking. But as a whole the series aims to reflect, in a clear-minded and approachable way, the changing ways in which we understand the expanding field of modern literary and cultural studies.

Rick Rylance

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