ABSTRACT. The emergence of “sociological poetics” in Leningrad is traced through a discussion of research projects developed at Institute for the Comparative History of the Literatures and Languages of the West and East (ILIaZV). The development and revision of certain ideas of A.N. Veselovskii in the work of the Formalists and their opponents is discussed, with particular reference to the group of scholars led by Desnitskii: Ioffe, Medvedev, Voloshinov, and the emergence of “semantic palaeontology” in the work go Frank-Kamenetskii and Freidenberg. The binary opposition of Formalism and Marxism that dominates most accounts of the period is questioned, and the work of what is now called the “Bakhtin Circle” appears in a new light. pp. 17–34

Keywords: sociological poetics; Bakhtin Circle; Russian Formalism; Marxism; literary theory

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University of Sheffield, England

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