Materializing Bakhtin: The Bakhtin Circle and Social Theory by C. Brandist, G. Tihanov

By C. Brandist, G. Tihanov

This quantity brings jointly 9 essays by way of confirmed and new students from Russia, Britain and North the USA to discover the ancient contexts and present relevance of the paintings of the Bakhtin Circle for social idea, philosophy, heritage and linguistics.

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In addition, the dialectic that animates this potentially conflictual relation always finds its resolution within the development of a ‘renewed’ spiritual universality – or a new form of objective spirit. e. it evaluates the scalar relations between the singular expression and its ideological context in developing new analytical categories applied to historical experience. As Ken Hirschkop (1989) has shown, in ‘On the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’ Bakhtin presents a general, historical account of aesthetic development where the characters of the ‘monoglossia’ of the Greek world, the ‘polyglossia’ of the Roman world and, finally, the ‘heteroglossia’ of the modern world24 appear respectively.

We here see the relatively paradoxical relation that the aesthetic act has with ethical deed, since comic or tragic representations refer precisely to categories that purposively ‘deform’ ‘just measure’. 37 The way Hegel presents the problem is also very interesting from this point of view: in chapter 6 of the Phenomenology, where he deals with the forms of objective spirit, he clearly establishes the possibilities which will reappear in his aesthetics. The way spirit realizes itself is understood according to the three possibilities offered in (re)presentation, that is to say, the realization of its form is either inferior, equal, or superior to the ethical idea that it presents.

This means that the possibilities of the ethical realization of spirit give way to great historical figures, which witness the progression of objective spirit, and also lead to the vision of a historical dynamic where the ‘ideal’ is constantly facing ‘reality’. We should briefly recall that in the Hegelian schema the different moments of ethic, culture and morality, distinct on the historical level, represent, respectively, the progression of objective spirit towards the realization of its definitive form.

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