Mikhail Bakhtin

Martina Björklund

Table of contents

Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin (1895–1975) has been characterized as one of the most powerful thinkers of the 20th century (Emerson 1997: 149). His thinking covers several areas, and in the literature, he is sometimes referred to as literary scholar, sometimes as philologist, semiotician, linguist, culturologist, or philosopher. In his own view, he was a philosopher – or thinker. In an interview held in the spring of 1973, Bakhtin agrees with the interviewer that he was more of a philosopher than a philologist in the 1920s, adding: “And such have I remained until the present day. I am a philosopher. A thinker.”, (cited from Emerson 1997: 6). I will here concentrate on Bakhtin’s linguistic thinking, but first a brief sketch of the course of his life and of the whole industry that has developed around his person and work.

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