Free «Mikhail Bakhtin» Essay Sample

Mikhail Bakhtin

The impact that some individuals might have on the world can be enormous as they have expedite the development of the society. Therefore, the objective of the this paper is to discuss the famous Russian literary philosopher and theorist of language Mikhail Bakhtin, who promoted certain ideas that have significantly affected the way of thinking of the Western world in terms of culture, linguistics, aesthetics and literary theory.

Mikhail Bakhtin was born in Moscow in 1895 and just after the graduation of the St. Petersburg’s University worked as a teacher in a high school. Soon after that, he moved to another Russian city that was much smaller and used to be famous for being a center of organized lectures, concerts and debates among intellectuals. It was the time when Mikhail Bakhtin started the development of his critical theories. Unfortunately, the economic conditions of those times did not allow him to present his works to public, which is why he published certain masterpieces under the names of his friends. His first works were “Freudianism”, “The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship”, “Marxism and the Philosophy of Language”. Thus, his attempts to cover up himself were unsuccessful and he was arrested and sent to Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Kazakh. From 1945 to 1961, Mikhail Bakhtin was giving lectures to the teachers at the Mordovian Training College.

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One of the most famous masterpieces of Mikhail Bakhtin was “Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics”, which was related to the work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, another famous Russian writer. This work was published under his real name just before the arrest. It appeared to be acknowledged as one of the best critics on the works of the famous poet as it was about the correlation of context and meaning that involved the work itself, the author and the reader. The mentioned components were influencing one another, just as the social and economic conditions of that time did (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014).

The works of the François Rabelais, who was a French Renaissance writer, had much impact on the view of Mikhail Bakhtin. The latter spoke about the “carnivals” as about an opportunity of lower layers of the society to erase the boundaries between the low and the high culture. It was like a possibility to free people for a short time form a normal order of things as men and women dressed up into different “creatures” and acted madly. According to the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin, the hierarchical distinguishes are not respected by the grotesque symposium and this is where the spiritual and material things meet.

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Besides that, Mikhail Bakhtin was famous for his works about language and dialogues as he claimed that language was “alive” and had to be studied once used, but not only by separate abstracts. It should not be isolated as it has no opportunity to develop its self-contained linguistic units. Moreover, Bakhtin spoke about the study of the language in everyday context as it could have the influence on certain social factors that included gender, race, class and so on.

Bakhtin’s works prove that there was no consensus in relation to heteroglossia. Moreover, he has certain works that deal with the way the organizations are formed as the centralized managerial codes are not the only pillars. Therefore, the centrifugal forces are also used because they undermine the strategies and the hierarchies of the organizations. The mentioned forces are usually the reason why the employees have the dialogical narrative between themselves that are related to changes that organizations undergo. It has an impact on the internal identity of certain random number of employees that results in creation of dialogical selves that can either disrupt or stabilize and enforce the monoglossic values within the organization (Roberts, 2014).

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It is important to mention the Bakhtin Circle, which was a group of scholars who looked into development of certain works and ideas. Its main objective was to study the philosophical and social views of Bakhtin that were posed during the Russian Revolution. It was a complicated task to continue working and doing research in such severe political conditions as Stalin’s dictatorship was the main issue that was threatening to discontinue any studies. The meeting was first held in a small town that was mentioned before, and in 1924, the scholars moved to Leningrad. Despite the constant persecutions and arrests of certain members, Bakhtin did not stop creating his works until his death in 1975. The group went through very hard times, but still managed to function and develop further. The works of this group were about the philosophy of culture. It included the phenomenological arguments that came against the contemporary positivism and rationalist philosophy’s abstractions. After the death of Mikhail Bakhtin, the Bakhtin Circle continued to function for a while, followed by numerous translations and further publications. His other famous works include “How Is History Possible”¸ “Dostoyevsky and Antiquity”, “Art and Answerability”, “Towards a Philosophy of the Act” and others (Brandist).

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In conclusion, it is important to mention that Mikhail Bakhtin started a new era of “Bakhtinian thought”, which symbolized extremely pertinent and multifaceted approaches towards the philosophical concerns of that time. It was a challenge as Stalinism was negatively influencing the intellectual life in the Soviet Union, but Mikhail Bakhtin managed to move his ideas forward and alter the thinking of many people even today.

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