(by Sandy Kao)
Largely for political reasons, he lived much of his life in self-imposed
obscurity, taking up a professorship at the remote Mordovia State Teachers
College from 1936 - 1961.
Arrested in 1929 for alleged involvement in the underground Russian Orthodox
Church and sentenced to six years' internal exile
published his work under his friends' names? (e.g. Freudianism
and Marxism and the Philosophy of Language by Voloshinov, The
formal Method in Literary Studies by Medvedev. (Cf. Fifty
Key Contemporary Thinkers pp. 8-9)
dialogism (vs. monologism)
(Stam 14). relations
between the text and its others in the forms of
words as utterances with plural meanings (reflections
and refractions) ;
every word presupposes an interlocutor;
"the relation between the utterance and other
utterances" An Outline
by Ally Chang on "Discourse in the Novel"
-- argument -- polemics and parody;
--overtones, pauses and implied attitude;
-- "confidence in another's word";
-- the relation between languages, literatures, genres, styles and
even entire cultures. . .
heteroglossia, carnevalesque (vs. the language
of the church), polyphony
An Outline by Sandy Kao
An Outline by Sandy Kao
the epic and the novel
chronotope, time/space "particular combinations
of time and space as they have resulted in historically manifested narrative
forms (Holquist 109)
An Outline by Sandy Kao
Carnival [literal meaning] --can be traced back to
the Dionysian festivites of the Greaks and the Saturnalia of the Romans;
enjoyed its apogee of both observance and symbolic meaning in the High
Much more than the mere cessation of productive labor,
carnival represented am alternative cosmovision characterized by
the ludic undermining of all norms. (Stam
The carnivalesque principle abolishes hierarchies, levels social classes,
and creates another life free from conventional rules and restrictions.
finds its emblem in the grotesque, pleasure-seeking
human body: fat and fleshy, eating, drinking, fornicating and defecating
to excess. ( e.g. Rabelais' Gangatua)
some major concepts: (Stam
the valorization of Eros and life force;
the notion of bisexuality and the practice of transvestitism
as a release from the burden of socially imposed sex roles;
a corporeal semiotic celebrating the grotesque, excessive
body and the 'orifices' of the lower bodily stratum;
the topos of carnival as "gay relativity" and Janus-face
ambiguity and ambivalence.
a perspective on language that valorizes the obscene,
the nonsensical, and 'marketplace speech' as expressive of the linguistic
creativity of common people;
the view of carnival as participatory spectacle,
a 'pageant without footlights' which erases the boundaries between spectator
A. as a narrative device (e.g. of adventure, of adventure
of everyday life and metamorphosis, of [auto-]biography) biography
-- a. Platonic, b. encomium, c. bildungsroman, d. Gogal's "Notes on a Madman"¡Vbaring
B. an artistic crystallization of time and space
(e.g. Salon in Paris or °s®ain Taiwan)
II. Bakhtin and his Circle of Relations:
A. Bakhtin, Freudianism (e.g.
a Marxist Critique ; )
Bakhtin on Freud--to historicize, politicize
and socialize Freud:
B. Bakhtin & Russian Formalism (P.N. Medvedev
and M.M. Bakhtin, The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship: A Critical
Introduction to Sociological Poetics)(Stam
Bakhtin salutes Freud's emphasis on language, but
critiques the model of language adopted. The Freudian model .
. . fails to see that every exchange of words, including that between
the analyst and patient, is "ideological," characterized by specific
social intonations through which it gains historical specificity and momentum
recast the Unconscious/Conscious distinction as one
not between two orders of psychic reality but rather between two modalities
of verbal consciousness. [Official Consciousness and unofficial consciousness--that
which deviates from social norms.]
Bakhtin vs. Lacan (Stam
4-5): shares with Lacan a preoccupation with the image of the mirror
and the role of the other in our psychic life.
Even the apparently simple act of looking at ourselves
in the mirror, for Bakhtin, is complexly dialogical, implying an intricate
intersection of perspectives and consciousness. To look at ourselves
in the mirror is to oversee the reflection of our life in the plane of
consciousness of others; it is to see and apprehend ourselves through the
imagined eyes of our parents. . .
Not limited to a "stage" of psychic development;
The Lacanian intervention makes subjectivity dependent
upon the recognition of an irreducible distance separating self from other,
and in so doing, turns psychic life into a series of irremediable losses
and misrecognitions. But while Lacan seems to see human beings as
eternally susceptible to the lure, as ontologically defined by lack and
imperfection, as subject to a desire that can only lead to an impasse of
dissatisfaction, Bakhtin foregrounds the human capacity to mutually "author"
one another, the ability to dialogically intersect on the frontiers between
deconstructs a number of crucial formalist dichotomies:
intrinsic/extrinsic: For Bakhtin, "In the process
of history. . . things extrinsic and intrinsic dialectically change places;
what was once 'within' can easily become 'without,' and vice versa.
practical/poetic language: the two types of languages
interpenetrate each other;
material/device, and story/plot.
C. Bakhtin & Saussure & Marxism
(Marxism and the Philosophy of Language by V.N. Volosinov)
D. Bakhtin's influence on Kristeva's intertextuality
Saussure-- focuses on 'synchrony" and the sign system
Bakhtin -- turns his attention to the diachronic;
"sees verbal language as forming part of a continuum of semioses, a plurality
of sign-related discourses that share a common underlying logic and can
be "translated" into one another.
"Translinguistics" (vs. semiology): "a theory of the role of signs in human
life and thought" (Stam31);
formulated in Russia in the early decades of 20th (Stam
Both consciousness and ideology are semiotic, whether in the form of "inner
speech" or in the process of verbal interaction with others, or in mediated
forms like writing and art.
Kristeva: "Word, Dialogue and Novel"
in Language p. 65-66
To investigate the status of the word is to study
its articulations (as semic complex) with other words in the sentence,
and then to look for the same functions or relationships at the articulatory
level of larger sequences. ¡K
3 dimensions of texutal space: writing subject,
addressee, and exterior texts. The word¡¦s
status is thus defined horizontally (the word in the text belongs
to both writing subject and addressee) as well as vertically (the
word in the text is oriented toward anterior or synchronic literary corpus.
¡Keach word (text) is an intersection of
word (texts) where at least one other word (text) can be read. ¡Kany
text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption
and transformation of another. The notion of intertextuality replaces
that of intersubjectivity, and poetic language is read as at least double.