Paper Text – $29.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1515-6

Cloth Text – $79.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1671-9
Publication Date
March 2004
Trim Size
6 x 9


Ethics and Mechanics
Valerie Z. Nollan

A fascinating collection of essays about Bakhtin that incorporate a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including theater arts, philosophy, history, women's studies, Latin American literature, and Russian literature. The authors take Bakhtin's ethics, as articulated in his writings of 1919-1929, and extend them into areas of thought that themselves enter into fruitful dialogue with his theoretical positions, endeavoring at all times to remain cognizant of both Russian and Western views of Bakhtin. The essayists' interactions attest to the productivity of any thoughtful encounter with Bakhtin's work and to the transformational nature of his work's impact on the myriad disciplines that it affects.

The early work of Mikhail Bakhtin is notable for its emphasis on questions in ethics and philosophy. Focusing on these early writings, though also informed by Bakhtin's later works of the early 1970s, the authors in this volume explore the human and prosaic dimensions of ethical and moral dilemmas, whether in the philosophical concerns of the Young Hegelians, the iconography and implicit doctrine of Christian redemption in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, in testimonial accounts of political martyrs in Latin America, or in the nationalist features of Russian Village Prose. Bakhtin's thought exerted a profound, systemic influence on many areas of knowledge as they have been configured in the twentieth century and, as this volume amply demonstrates, promises to do the same for the twenty-first.
About the Author
Valerie Z. Nollan is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Rhodes College and editor and translator of Vladimir Soloukhin's A Time to Gather Stones (1993), also from Northwestern University Press.

"This collection is an always interesting, sometimes surprising, and immensely valuable anthology of four essays. Here readers will discover how Bakhtin's earliest works can inform readings of literary texts from different ages, genres, cultures, and disciplines, how Bakhtin's ethics can suggest promising new directions for literary criticism, as well as for Bakhtin studies. We recommend it highly." —The Russian Review