Sandy Kao 


Kate Liu

13 March 1998


I. Heteroglassia

  many voiced or the artistic orchestration of a diversity of social discourses

  (Bakhtin Reader 112)

  A. a situation of a subject surrounded by the myriad responses he or she might make at any particular point, but any one of which must be framed in a specific discourse selected from the teeming thousands available; a way of conceiving the world as made up of a rolling mass of languages, each of which has its own distinct formal markers. (Holquist 69)

  B. all languages of heteroglassia, whatever the principle underlying them and making each unique, are specific points of views on the world, forms for conceptualizing the world in words, specific world views, each characterized by its own objects, meanings and values. (Bakhtin 115)

  C. heteroglassia governs the operation of meaning in the kind of utterance we call a literary text, as it does in any utterance. ( Holquist 69)

  D. indicates a shift of emphasis toward social languages rather than individual voices; if the various discourses of heteroglossia enter the novel, they must be embodied in a speaking human being. “Every language in the novel is a point of view, a socio-ideological conceptual system of real social group”, otherwise it cannot enter the novel, but equally it “must be a concrete, socially embodied point of view, not an abstract, purely semantic position.” (Bakhtin Reader 113)

  E. wordsspeechimage of language novellanguage of heteroglossia

    (Bakhtin Reader 113)

    three basic categories of the novel constructs images of language (Bakhtin 119)

    1. hybridization

      a. a mixture of two social language within the limits of a single utterance, an

        encounter, within the arena of an utterance, between two different linguistic

        consciousness, separated from on another by an epoch, by social

        differentiation or by some other factor.

      b. two linguistic consciousness to be present, the one being represented and the

        other doing the representing, with each belonging to a different system of


      c. the novelistic hybrid is an artistically organized system for bringing different

        languages in contact with one another.

    2. the dialogized interrelation of languages

     a. stylization: an artistic representation of another’s linguistic style, an artistic

       image of another’s language.  Two individualized linguistic consciousness

       must be present in it: the one that represents (that is, the linguistic

       consciousness of the stylizer) and the one that is represented, which is stylized.

     b. stylization and parodythe most varied forms for languages to mutually

       illuminate each other and for direct hybrids, forms that are themselves

       determined by the most varied interactions among languages

        the most varied wills to language and to speech, that encounter one another

          within the limits of a single utterance

     c. dialogue in the novel is dialogue of a special sort

     d. novel dialogue is determined by the very socio-ideological evolution of

       language and society.

     e. dialogue of language and dialogue of social forcesco-existence and


    3. pure languagessubordinated to the same task of creating images of language

the process of coming to know one’s own language as it is perceived in someone else’s language, coming to know one’s own belief system in someone’s system


II. Novelness     

  A. conception of languagerooted in his epistemology. (Holquist ,72); a form of knowledge that can put different order of experience

  B. a means for charting changes that have come about as a result of increasing sensitivity to the problem of non-identity  (Holquist ,72)

  C. hero; the awareness of otherness (Holquist 73); knowing the constitution is always incomplete and ineluctably (Holquist, 106)

  D. novelness in the history of consciousness

     1. history is treated as a kind of Bildungsroman; the ontogenetic growth of individual people from birth to maturity as a phylogenetic pattern for all human beings over the whole course of time; a kind of collective biography from prehistory to the present

     2. the development of consciousness in the specific form of self-consciousness

  E. “consciousness itself can arise and become a living fact only in the material embodiment of signs”  (Bakhtin, Marxism and the Philosophy of language, p. 11) (Dialogism , 80)  “learning to talk” is really learning to think

  F. language acquisition as intertextuality

    1. sign and meaning (Holquist, 82)

    2. relation of language to lifeself and othernesstimeàopen and unfinished opposite to closed and finalizable; novelness is the body of utterances that is least reductive of variety (Holquist, 84)

    3. the difference between perceiving the world by textualizing it into an utterance in everyday speech and authoring a literary textwe give order to the world every time we talk

  G. intertextuality and novelness

     “to other texts which can be discerned within the internal composition of a specific individual text [whereas] we intend the concept of inter-textuality to refer to the social organization of the relations between texts within specific conditions or reading (Holquist, 88)

  H. Frankenstein

    1. novel of change

    2. the relation between the creator and the monster

    3. the quest of finding the meaning of one’s existence; the problem of identity;



III. Double-voiced discourse

   discourse: language in its concrete living totality.

   A. three types of discourse (Bakhtin Reader, 102 and 110-111)

     1. direct discourse:

       a. orientated entirely towards the object or topic it refers to; function: to

          name, inform, express

       b. authorial discourse

     2. objectified or represented discourse (discourse of a represented person)

       a. character speech is also referentially orientated but stylistically it is

         subordinated to authorial discourse

       b. as the object of authorial understanding

     3. discourse with an orientation toward someone else’s discourse (double-voiced


       a. stylization and non-authorial forms of narration

       b. parody and irony

       c. outside the authorial discourse but is the object of a hidden polemic

         inflecting the authorial voice

   B. how single voiced becomes double voiced

     1. An author can also take someone else’s direct discourse and infuse it with anthorial intentions and consciousness while still retaining the original speaker’s intention.  It then becomes double-voiced. (Bakhtin Reader, 102)

     2. Someone else’s words introduced into our own speech inevitably assume a new(our own) interpretation and become subject to our evaluation of them.(Bakhtin Reader,106)

   C. the importancethese discoursive types and varieties among the basic compositional elements of a given work

   D. the struggle of the voices


VI. Issues to discuss

1. What does “discourse” mean in Bakhtin’s theory?  Does it include the concept of

  value, meaning of existence and so forth?

2. What is the relation between the voices of the author and the character?  Can they

  become one voice?

3. What is the relation between literature and life? (See Dialogism, P85)  Can they

  perceive as two voices?