Bakhtin and His Circle: A Checklist of English Translations

By Gorman, David | Style, Winter 1993 | Go to article overview

Bakhtin and His Circle: A Checklist of English Translations


Gorman, David, Style


The following is a listing of writings currently available in English by Mikhail Bakhtin, along with V. N. Voloshinov and P. N. Medvedev, two colleagues belonging to what is often described now as Bakhtin's "circle" or "school" during the 1920s. It would be understating things to say that the work of all three theorists has attracted a great deal of attention recently; a symptom of this is the fact that new Russian editions of their work, as well as translations of it into many languages, continue to pour forth. Partly because of the volume of new translations, and partly because of the bibliographic complexities of their Russian publication histories, I have found that it is much too difficult for an English-language reader of these writings to get a clear view of what is available in English and how exactly such translations relate to the Russian originals. This bibliography is intended to provide an interim guide of this sort--interim because it will soon be rendered incomplete by forthcoming editions and translations of the work of all three men. However, a reasonably complete and accurate survey of available material seemed worth attempting at this point, since so much has already been done to make the writings of Bakhtin and his associates available. It is my hope to issue supplements to this checklist as necessary, and I invite contributions from those who may discover omissions or mistakes.

The format of this bibliography is as follows. Part 1 lists all English-language volumes cited more than once in the remainder of the bibliography--volumes, that is, containing translations of two or more works by Bakhtin, Medvedev, or Voloshinov; these are listed alphabetically by the abbreviations under which they are subsequently cited.

Part 2, on Bakhtin, is subdivided into two sections, the first listing information on the three Russian anthologies of Bakhtin's work published (thus far) since his rehabilitation in the early 1960s; these are listed chronologically by date, and it is under these dates that they are cited in the second section of Part 2. This section, the core of the bibliography, lists each of Bakhtin's translated works chronologically by date of composition. In each entry, the title is followed by information about (a) initial publication; (b) appearance, where relevant, in the anthologies listed in the preceding section; and (c) English translation or translations. There are many complexities and perplexities here as to dating, chronology, titling, revisions, and so forth, as will be evident from even a glance at the entries. In particular it has been necessary to give some titles in brackets, when no English translation of the piece in question exists as such, or where the translated title diverges too greatly from the original. I will simply add that I have taken the information available in current translations and commentaries on Bakhtin's writings at face value, trying merely to set it all into some reasonably perspicuous order.

Part 3, finally, deals with Medvedev and Voloshinov, and here matters are somewhat simpler: their works are listed by date of original publication. The problem that has arisen with these writings in translation is whether some of them should be reattributed, partly or even fully, to Bakhtin; but again I have followed a policy of listing publication information as currently available to an English-language reader, without attempting to adjudicate.

In addition to the English works cited below, I have drawn heavily (and I hope, effectively) upon the following:

Clark, Katerina and Michael Holquist. Mikhail Bakhtin. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984.

Holquist, Michael. Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World. London: Routledge, 1990.

Morson, Gary Saul, and Caryl Emerson. Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990.

Todorov, Tzvetan. Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogical Principle. 1981. Trans. Wlad Godzich. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1984. …

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