Mikhail Bakhtin's critical and theoretical experiments have inspired original work in the humanities and social sciences, but Bakhtin and the Classics is the first book to focus on the relationship between Bakhtin and classical studies, the discipline in which Bakhtin himself was trained. Clearly demonstrating the fundamental importance of classical literature in his work, Bakhtin and the Classics expands our understanding of both Bakhtin's thought and the literary and cultural history of antiquity.
The authors, eminent classicists and distinguished critics of Bakhtin, put Bakhtin into dialogue with the classics--and classicists into dialogue with Bakhtin. Each essay offers a critical account of an important aspect of Bakhtin's thought and examines the value of his approach in the context of literary or cultural history. Beginning with an overview of Bakhtin's notion of carnival laughter, perhaps his central critical concept, the volume explores Bakhtin's thought and writing in relation to Homer's epic verse. Catullus's lyric poetry, ancient Roman novels, and Greek philosophy from Aristotle's theory of narrative to the work of Antiphon the Sophist. The results are of interest and importance to Bakhtinians, theorists, and classicists.