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Bakhtin and his circle began meeting in the Belorussian towns of Nevel and Vitebsk in before moving to Leningrad in Their group meetings were terminated due to the arrest of many of the group in From this time until his death inBakhtin continued to work on the topics which had occupied his group, living in internal exile first in Kustanai Kazakhstan,Savelovo about km from Moscow,Saransk Mordovia,and finally moving in to Moscow, where he died at the age of eighty.
The Bakhtin circle is reputed to have been initiated by Kagan on his return from Germany, where he had studied philosophy in Leipzig, Berlin and Marburg. Kagan established a "Kantian Seminar" at which various philosophical, religious and cultural issues were discussed.
Kagan was a Jewish intellectual who had been a member of the Social Democratic Party the precursor of the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks and he may have been attracted to Cohen's philosophy for its supposed affinity with Marxism Cohen regarded his ethical philosophy as completely compatible with that of Marxwhile rejecting the atheism of Russian Communism.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the members of the circle did not restrict themselves to academic philosophy but became closely involved in the radical cultural activities of the time, activities which became more intense with the movement of the group to Vitebsk, where many important avant-garde artists such as Malevich and Chagall had settled to avoid the privations of the Civil War.
One of the group, Pavel Medvedev, a graduate in law from Petrograd University, became rector of the Vitebsk Proletarian University, editing the town's cultural journalIskusstvo Art to which he and Voloshinov contributed articles, while Bakhtin and Pumpianskii both gave public lectures on a variety of philosophical and cultural topics, as seen in recently published student notes.
Pumpianskii, it is known, never finished his studies at Petrograd university, while it is doubtful whether Bakhtin had any formal higher education at all despite his claims, now disproven, to have graduated from the same University in It seems that Bakhtin attempted to gain acceptance in academic circles by adopting aspects of his older brother's biography.
Nikolai Bakhtin had a solid classical education from his German governess and graduated from Petrograd University, where he had been a pupil of the renowned classicist F. Bakhtin had therefore been exposed to philosophical ideas since his youth. After Nikolai's departure for the Crimea, and Mikhail's move to Nevel, it seems that Kagan took the place of his brother as unofficial mentor, having an important influence on Bakhtin's philosophy in a new and exciting cultural environment, although the two friends went their separate ways inthe year Bakhtin married.
Kagan, however, moved to take up a teaching position at the newly established provincial university in Orel in While there he published the only sustained piece of philosophy to be published by a member of the group before the late s entitled "Kak vozmozhna istoria" How Is History Possible in The same year he produced an obituary of Hermann Cohen in which he stressed the historical and sociological aspects of Cohen's philosophy and wrote other unpublished works.
While Bakhtin himself did not publish any substantial work untilhe was clearly working on matters related to Neo-Kantian philosophy and the problem of authorship at this time. Most of the group's significant work was produced after their move to Leningrad in It seems that there the group became acutely aware of the challenge posed by Saussurean linguistics and its development in the work of the Formalists.
Thus there emerges a new awareness of the importance of the philosophy of language in philosophy and poetics. The most significant work on the philosophy of language was published in the period by Voloshinov: Voloshinov also published an article and a bookon the debate which raged around Freudianism at the time.
Since the s the works published under the names of Voloshinov and Medvedev have often been ascribed to Bakhtin, who neither consented nor objected. A voluminous, ideologically motivated, often bad-tempered and largely futile body of literature has grown up to contest the issue one way or another, but since there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the published authors were not responsible for the texts which bear their names, there seems no real case to answer.1.
Foreword by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today. 1.
The example of music, which has long been an abstract art, and which avant-garde poetry has tried so much to emulate, is interesting. Music, Aristotle said curiously enough, is the most imitative and vivid of all arts because it imitates its original -- the state of the soul -- with the greatest immediacy.
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