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The Dialogic Imagination Book â 480 pages

Ebook Ú The Dialogic Imagination å Mikhail Bakhtin

Ebook Ú The Dialogic Imagination å Mikhail Bakhtin History of Novelistic Discourse Two essays Epic and Novel and Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel deal with literary history in Bakhtin's own unorthodox way In the final essay he discusses literature and language in general which he sees as stratified constantly changing systems of subgenres dialects and fragmented languages in battle with one another EPIC AND NOVELPrimary distinction being that between epic and tragicomic The epic exists in dissociated and completed historical past even its prophecies are necessarily completed or general; whereas novels can only predict It peers exaltingly upward at its subjectThe novel here defined in such a way that it existed in comic form from ancient times a comic Odysseus is attributed to Homer himself stands above the subject Humor is possible only when the subject can be seen from multiple facets in its mundane moments and from the inside out The novel is present; we laugh because we feel we have a grasp of it FROM THE PREHISTORY OF NOVELISTIC DISCOURSEMonoglossic authorship takes itself as the only and the ultimatetrue authority on its subject cf scripture as the Word of God The development of heteroglossia and polyglossia began as early as medieval events with parodia sacra when Latin grammar was turned inward on itself to be punned lewd bawdy When multiple languages or diglossic splits of a single language appear in a text irony emerges and from that irony is dialogueThe novel is not a genre among other genres Other forms of written art are completed genres disclosed and circumscribed The novel is always in tension with itself revising oldlearned forms of speech and putting them in dialogue with present day speech Its formal linguistic boundaries are unfixed FORMS OF TIME AND OF THE CHRONOTOPE IN THE NOVELI The Greek Romance adventure time Beginning and end pole fall in love consummate; the substance of the story lies in between as external conflict in the form of random contingency chance simultaneity meetings and chance rupture non meetings partings None of these interruptions take place in biographical time because the characters are altogether unchanged by the end as if real life were put on pause for the adventure Candide is an ironic exception; at the final consummation so much time has passed that Cunegonde is an old hag They exist in an abstract alien world exotic; what happens to them in one country could just as easily happen in any other But the heroes are steadfast; they are strangers isolated and passing through a foreign world; their primary purpose is to pass through unchangedII Apuleis Satyricon and Petronius The Golden Ass adventure novel of everyday life Introduction of metamorphosis Not yet biographical time just exceptional moments of a life Still outsider in private personal existence subject to alien chancefate but initiated by some action Golden Ass seuence guilt punishment retribution redemption blessedness Satyricon guilt redemption blessedness Everyday time comes out to support metamorphosis not straight line but line with knotsIII Ancient Biography and Autobiography Platonic scheme development of subject's ideasvirtues until a mature point of permanence Rhetorical scheme cf encomium; event based But still no private individual emerging; in ancient times no core or shell existed only a fully public self Two models for structuring biographies Aristotelian energia identity realized not by condition but by activity and analytic identity realized by type by profession etc Three modifications that suggest but don't lead to privatization of individual 1 satirico ironic treatment of personal and private topics 2 drawing room rhetoric in familiar letters in which landscape is born as a backgroundsetting each man sees rather than interacts with as in pastoral idylls and 3 consolationes as in Marcus Aurelius and Augustine solilouies with details only interesting to a self's addressing itselfIV The Problem of Historical Inversion and the Folkloric Chronotope ? Future time was emptied out either with the concept of the past Golden Age or with eschatology But fantastic folklore is realism because at the expense of the emptyvague future folkloric man manifests ideals now in time space Present time expressed as tensions of change?V The Chivalric Romance epic adventure Like adventure time of the Greek type but the suddenly is no longer a surprise; the hero seeks otherness and testing and the calamities of the mysticalmysterious world Heroes become distinct from one another; while ancient epics were cycles of the same hero with different names the chivalric romances are individual heroes going through different cycles The hero comes to be part of an international rather than national common storehouse of images Particularly acute in medieval times Langland and Dante have at heart a feeling for their epoch's contradictions and nearing end; they especially Dante realize the stretching out of a historical world along a vertical axis compressing the stagnant and isolated along the horizontalVI The Functions of the Rogue Clown and Fool in the Novel The characteristic Shakespearean fool and in medieval fabliaux etc who exists only in reflectionrefraction of a character who must be taken metaphorically Emergence of allegory Characters taking on deliberate masks given the right to be other than they areVII The Rabelaisian Chronotope Dissolution of the medieval worldview which obfuscated real earth time in favor of spiritual narratives ie a universal Christian time of judgment Direct proportionality of material world in its values rather than virtue's representations diminishing vice's reps VIII The Folkloric Bases for the Rabelaisian ChronotopeIX The Idyllic Chronotope in the Novel Characterized by unity of space blurring time into cycles basic realities of life only and conjoining of human life with nature Influence on modern novel 1 provincial novels 2 destruction of idyll by Bildungsroman 3 Sentimental and Rousseauan novel 4 family novelnovel of generations 5 and other novels like those featuring a man of the peopleX Concluding Remarks written later in 1973 A literary work's artistic unity in relationship to an actual reality is defined by its chronotope 243 Chronotope of the road the parlor the salon is how characters from different backgrounds converge encounter; this is where dialogues happen something that acuires extraordinary importance in the novel revealing the character 'ideas' and 'passions' of the heroes 246 Chronotope of the threshold is crisisbreak in Dostoevsky these are placesmoments of falls resurrections renewals epiphanies decisions 248 and in Tolstoy they are biographically dragged out stretches of time for the sameChronotopes have dialogic relationships to one another and exist for the author and the reader but not within the fictional world itself which is the concretization of time and space which gives meaning to narrative DISCOURSE ON THE NOVELPoetry is not heteroglossic because it's hermetic and each word is bonded entirely to its concrete objective meaning hence the significance of OED and etymologies to poets If during an epoch of language crises the language of poetry does change poetry immediately canonizes the new language as one that is unitary and singular as if no other language existed 399 Poetry as speech song depends on unity of voiceOne of his great premises for heteroglossia in novels is that language is at root historical and therefore ideological The evolution of languages is the conflict of cultures and their ideologies Novels are a ripe site for heteroglossia because of its dependence on characters which are speaking people Characters are ideologues and the testing of them ie conflict of plot is the dialogue of their linguistic ideologies a process whereby we're experimenting by turning persuasive discourse into speaking persons 348 The ideological becoming of a human being in this view is the process of selectively assimilating the words of others 341 More than half on average of what we say is consciously the words of someone else or referential thereto how desperately concerned are we in everyday conversation with who said what and on whose authority such and such?Two major distinctions the authoritative discourse and the internally persuasive discourse 342 Think back to grade school when the distinctions were made recite the words of books the Truth or rephrase them into your own words which is freuently unacknowledged and insecure The authoritative discourse can only be transmitted never represented Why this is undesirable and stagnant The semantic structure of an internally persuasive discourse is not finite it is open; in each of the new contexts that dialogize it this discourse is able to reveal even newer ways to mean 346 The artistic image consistency or system of a language such is the aim that novelistic hybridization sets for itself 366But beware of poor or lazy writers who seem to achieve this double voicedness but who are simply using multiplicity already canonized by literary language or are so inchoate in their own use of language that multiple languages are not orchestrated but mistakenly used for cheap effect their already lost flavor

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The Dialogic Imagination Book â 480 pages ☆ ➹ [Reading] ➻ The Dialogic Imagination By Mikhail Bakhtin ➮ – Feedmarkformulate.co.uk These essays reveal Mikhail Bakhtin 1895 1975 known in the West largely through his studies of Rabelais and Dostoevsky as a philosopher of language a cultural historian and a major These essays reveal Mikhail Bakhtin 1895 1975 known in the West largely through his studies of Rabelais and Dostoevsky as a philosopher of language a cultural historian and a major theoretician of the novel The Dialogic Imagination presents in superb English translation four selections from Voprosy literatury i estetiki Problems of literature and esthetics publish Where to start? More or less everything I was taught about literary theory at my polite little liberal arts college derived from Bakhtin in some meaningful way even if it was a riposte to his ideas Heteroglossia the role of the picaresue intertextuality the evolution of the novel as bourgeois object it's not hard to see why these were revolutionary ideas in the interwar period and not hard to see why they were taken up so enthusiastically since An important read for anyone who thinks about how and why they read and how and why they read what they read

Mikhail Bakhtin å The Dialogic Imagination Text

The Dialogic ImaginationEd in Moscow in 1975 The volume also contains a lengthy introduction to Bakhtin and his thought and a glossary of terminologyBakhtin uses the category novel in a highly idiosyncratic way claiming for it vastly larger territory than has been traditionally accepted For him the novel is not so much a genre as it is a force novelness which he discusses in From the Pre It is a shame that Anglo American philosophy largely overlooks Bakhtin's work and instead exclusively hypes up Wittgenstein Bakhtin's essays were published a decade before Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations include most of Wittgenstein's key insights and articulate these insights in a deeper thorough way than Wittgenstein did Not only are Bakhtin's essays so deep and innovative but they are very well written and enjoyable to read I wish I had encountered this work earlier in my studiesThere are many major ideas to be found throughout the four essays and I will only summarize a few of them First is Bakhtin's concept of polyglossia This refers to the state of affairs in which different languages stand a certain relation to one another; each language can evaluate the other language and also see itself 'in the eyes of' the other Bakhtin a language refers not to the syntax and semantics of a given conventional language but rather it refers to the entire way of life of a given people or social group A language includes the distinctive ways people of a given group attend to objects and events in the world; a language involves the particular features and meanings of objects that show up to the people of that group When a language evaluates another language the overall attentional style or way of life of a given group supplies standards or norms for the evaluation of another way of life For example if I use my philosophical English ie the way of life that students of analytical philosophy in the US have to evaluate the language of students who live in literature departments when I encounter their fancy phrase of the 'decentralization of the subject' Bakhtin does not talk about this at all it's just something I've encountered in my life I bring my analytical philosophy background into understanding the meaning of this; I might judge that it is an oversimplistic reaction to a scarecrow of Enlightenment rationality If I have sufficient familiarity with the literature student way of life I might use their language to evaluate my own philosophical English I might see that analytical philosophical thinking takes its historically contingent premises too seriously and relies too heavily on logical principles to draw conclusions from these presumptions As a personal example we each have a plurality of 'selves' ways of being that were developed in certain contexts and that are activated in those contexts We're different people when we're with our professors v with our lovers Or we're different people when we are in a bought of depression v serenity We can draw on the 'language' of each self to evaluate that of another self My serene self can have certain insights about my depressed self and vice versa From my understanding Bakhtin is influenced by Hegel's master slave dialectic or account of recognition According to Hegel the possibility of our being self conscious understanding that we are responsible for our own self conceptions; having an explicit concept about who we are at all depends on being recognized by another person whom we recognize ourselves Simplistically put we first see ourselves through the eyes of another; then we draw on that experience in order to be able to see ourselves at all Bakhtin seems to draw on this concept and bring it to the level of languages rather than concrete individuals Bakhtin shows how this implies that the meaning of any word depends on the language way of life or social group from whose perspective this word is uttered A single word or phrase might be used in multiple different languages; if the speaker is acuainted with these different languages the word might have competing meanings and the particular meaning that ultimately shows up for the speaker will result from either emphasized salience of one meaning over another perhaps due to the speaker's immediate interests or other contextual features or will from the combination or interaction between meanings Bakhtin argues that people of a given social group have their particular needs interests and practices and these determine which aspects of objects and events are important to attend to; these attentional styles select the semantic meanings certain words take on This theory is essentially Wittgenstein's theory of language games Wittgenstein argued that meaning comes from use and the ways we use linguistic expressions depends on our practical interests and ways of life All of this is the focus of the fourth essay Discourse in the NovelBakhtin argues for an interesting point that Wittgenstein never even skirted near All language use is fundamentally dialogic; it always implies the presence of a listener The listener's subjectivity partially determines the meaning of a linguistic utterance It might intuitively seem that the speaker plus social conventions determine this meaning; the speaker chooses what she wants to say and the meanings of her words are given by her language and overall social context Bahktin argues this picture is incomplete There is either an implicit or literal listener and the listener's interests conceptual background and so on is necessarily taken into account by the speaker What the speaker can possibly say is regulated by the listener's attentional uality and expectations Bahktin does not examine in detail how this works out when we use language by ourselves eg think silently write in solitude talk to ourselves It's implicit that dialogue with concrete others is the phylogenetic predecessor of individual speech; it'd be fascinating to investigate further whether this means that when we talk to ourselves we necessarily have two separate 'selves' one doing the speaking and the other doing the hearing even if we feel that we are one person and obviously have only one body Kant and William James have influential work on that there are always two senses of subjectivity; there is the self that is the grounds of the possibilities of experience and there is the self that is conceptualized or experienced conditioned by those grounds Perhaps this dualism of the self might be appealed to in making sense of Bakhtin's claims Bakhtin primarily uses this concept of polyglossia to examine the literary genre of the novel this is the focus of the first essay From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse He contrasts novelistic language with poetic language The former fundamentally involves polyglossia; the author masterfully conjures many different languages ie characters from different walks of life and lets them evaluate one another and yielding an artistic unity or whole in the end In contrast poetic language is fundamentally monoglossic; even if other languages or ways of life are referred to by the speaker of a poem they are appealed to in such a way that the speaker does not enter the perspective of that other language whatsoever and rather treat that other language solely as an object Bakhtin also gives an interesting historical analysis on the origins of the novel this is the focus of the second essay The Epic and Novel He argues that the novel was made possible by early satirical or comedic artistic works The clown or vagabond is an outcast in society an object of ridicule This lets the clown or vagabond to be freed from the constraints of the social norms of her society's language In this freedom she can evaluate the society's language from a perspective independent of that language She does this by representing the society's way of life in ways that satirize it or show it as absurd According to Bakhtin this practice is the predecessor of aesthetic literary representations of languages and ways of life Making fun of something and laughing at it provides our first glimpse into the possibility of fundamentally distancing ourselves from that thing of taking up a perspective that is independent of the initial perspective from which that thing showed upBakhtin argues that different literary genres over human history have evolved in their fundamental configurations of space and time; this is presented in the third essay Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel Space and time in this context refer to the structure of how characters' lives unfold; the structures limit the possibilities of the depictions of this unfolding So a particular form of space and time is coupled with a particular form of how a character can be portrayed In early epics and mythologies space and time were such that fate was absolute Characters cannot undergo any psychological change Their actions follow the path set by fate and they do not learn or grow from their actions Characters are always personae or archetypes rather than individual humans Their actions are always types of action rather than particular actions with all the idiosyncrasies that follow from occurring under concrete circumstances In contrast contemporary novels involve a space and time that is contingent Characters are concrete individuals They make decisions independently of fate and learn or suffer from the conseuences of these decisions The details of their actions and of the space and time that are presented are determined relatively to the character's embodied standpoints Hours and days of a character's life can be linearly traced in a contemporary novel; this is not the case in ancient epics Bahktin gives a fascinating analysis of Rabelais as the first contemporary novelist Bahktin argues that Rabelais could possibly write in the way he did because he was exposed to multiple different languages or ways of life and he approached writing with irreverence and humor Overall I'd highly recommend these essays to anyone who cares about late Wittgensteinian philosophy of language; or Heidegger's curious remarks that language is the 'house of being' I wish Bakhtin was as well known as these guys; his ideas are contemporary to theirs and just as deep Moreover Bakhtin examines language in its concrete material circumstances and appeals to particular social and politic changes that drive the development of language and literature; this is a materialistic approach that I think is very important and many philosophers lack