Bakhtin as a Bearer of the Russian Tradition: On the Current Status of the Reception of Bakhtin’s Thought in China

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This article aims to study the current status of the reception of Bakhtin’s thought in China. The choice of this period is explained by the fact that in recent decades Chinese researchers have begun to search for the origins of Bakhtin’s thought. While some have insisted on a Western origin of Bakhtin’s theories, most Chinese scholars have linked Bakhtin’s thought with the Slavic tradition and the Russian Orthodox Church, in particular, with the concept of “sobornost”. This opened up new opportunities for further research. In this article, the author gives an overview of the research on the relationship between Bakhtin’s thought and the Russian tradition, noting that Chinese scholars’ research in this area is focused on various aspects: some discuss the influence of the idea of “sobornost” on the creative consciousness of Dostoevsky, the structure of literary works and Bakhtin’s polyphonic thought; others write about the phenomenon of “carnival” as a Russian phenomenon in Bakhtin; while others talk about Christian anthropology and psychology in Bakhtin’s works, or make a comparative analysis of Bakhtin’s thought and Western philosophy. This article shows how M.M. Bakhtin was perceived from another perspective and cultural tradition, which enriched his ideas with new meanings and connotations. Based on the analysis, the author comes to the conclusion that the concept of “sobornost” has similarities with collectivism, which has historically developed as a traditional value of the Chinese people. Therefore, Chinese scholars easily understood the concept of “sobornost”.

About the authors

Mengqiu Ma

Shenzhen MSU-BIT University; Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9381-6943

Postgraduate Student of the Department of the History of Russian Literature

No. 1, International University Park Road, Longgang District, Shenzhen, 518172, PRC; GSP-1 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


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