P. N. Medvedev/M. M. Bakhtin: ‘The Object, Tasks, and Methods of Literary History’
The literary work is an immediate part of the literary environment, the aggregate of all the socially active literary works of a given epoch and social group. From a strictly historical point of view the individual literary work is a dependent and therefore actually inseparable element of the literary environment. It occupies a definite place in this environment and is directly determined by its influences. It would be absurd to think that a work which occupies a place in the literary environment could avoid its direct influences or be an exception to its unity and regularity.
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