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Article

On Early Russian Reception of Mikhail Bakhtin's Work. The Case of V.N. Turbin, or Staying at the "Boundary of Silence"

 

“The whole history of Russian thought during Soviet period was a history with missing chapters” (Shaitanov 2011: 233). One of such missing chapters is a history of Soviet reception of the corpus of work created by Mikhail M. Bakhtin, a thinker and a literary critic (1895—1975).

The history of the Bakhtin’s ideas reception has not been written yet and there are no works on this subject. Zbinden’s book (Zbinden 2006), which seems to be a profound research about some particular cases of Bakhtin’s studies in Canada and French translations. Despite the fact that in the 1960-80s the «theorists of the carnival» became by S.S.Averintsev's words an «ordinary classic» and the subject for citation for any specialists in humanities, the soviet reception of Bakhtin's ideas was not successful because of a different nature as compared to all of his contemporaries and conversation partners that they could not even come into a proper contact. The present working paper is an attempt to reconstruct one case from the history of Bakhtin’s heritage reception using works by Vladimir N. Turbin (1927—1993) as an appropriate example. The study examines Turbin’s books (A Short While Before Aquarius, A Farewell to Epos) and his articles in different years (including published posthumously) related to Bakhtin, his life, theories, ideas and books. All these works probably will give the answer to the question why the reception of Bakhtin's heritage in 60-70 did not take place, and why the book, which Turbin wanted to write about his teacher, has not been written.