I. Major Questions, Concepts and Terms in "Discourse in the Novel"
-- How is the language of poetry different from that of novel? Why
is the former the more privileged literary form than the
-- How does novel stratify its discourse and how is novelist heteroglot
related to social heteroglot?
B. Heteroglossia: The co-existence of many languages in one
social language. "Dislogism describes the way languages interact, while heteroglossia
describes the languages themselves" (Vice 20).
-- many languages exist at the same time.
-- "The base condition governing the operation of meaning in
any utterance. It is that which insures the primacy of context over text.
At any given time, in any given place, there will be a set of conditions
that will insure that a word uttered in that place and at that time
will have a meaning different than it would have under any other conditions;
all utterances are heteroglot . . . " (428).
-- Language in the context of time and space: The historical meanings
of the same word in one language is given in different times and
B. Dialogism & Utterance:
-- Performance of speaking tone. (33-4) One word or utterance
with different tones bring different significance of intention.
-- Juxtaposition of language (34, 36): The various conditions
of juxtaposing different languages, which will converse with one another.
-- over-determination and dynamic interaction:
II. Outline --
- "As such they may be juxtaposed to one another, mutually supplement
one another, contradict one another
and be interrelated dialogically" (34).
"Language is not a neutral medium that passes freely and easily into the
private property of the speaker's intentions; it is populated
-- overpopulated--with the intentions of others. Expropriating it, forcing
it to submit to one's own intentions and accents, is a difficult
and complicated process" (35).
A. Modern Stylistics & the Novel
- contemporary attention on "separate, isolated stylistic
elements" or an individual author's style. (1191);
- knows only two poles: unitary language and the individual speaking
B. Literary language (both spoken and written) and heteroglossia in
novel: When we discuss the literary language, we include dimensions of
the real life, the literary life, of which language is taken from real
life and then been presented.
A. Both in real life and in literary works, we have oral and written forms of language.
III. The Speaking Person
"Within the scope of literary language itself there is already
a more or less sharply defined boundary between everyday-conversational language and written language"
B. Heteroglossia in novel vs. the Unitary language of
- "The novel can be defined as a diversity of social speech types,
sometimes even diversity of language and a diversity of individual voices, artistically organized"
- Includes dialects, languages of different social groups,
"professional" and "genetic" languages, langauges of
generations and so forth." (1199)
- Double-voiced discourse is attained whenever there is interaction
between social heteroglossia and literary language.
"Heteroglossia, once incorporated into the novel (whatever the forms
for its incorporation), is another's language, serving to express authorial intentions but in a refracted
way. Such speech constitutes a special type of double-voiced discourse . . . " (40).
- Poetry vs. Novel -- p. 1194; 1200
- Unitary language defined -- p. 1198; e.g.
- Dialogism -- inter and intra language dialogue 1200
- The living word and utterance -- 1202
- enters a dialogically agitated and
tension-filled environment of alient words, value judgments and
accents, . . .merges with some, recoils from others, intersects
with a third group;
- living utterance in a socially specific
environment and particular historical moment
- dialogic orientation: directionality toward
the object. 1204; the object defined
- the intentional dimensions 1211-14
: social stratefication + genetic and
professional stratefication --> socially significant verbal
performance : "infect with its own intention certain aspects of
language that had been affected by its semantic and expressive
impulse, imposing on them specific semantic nuances and specific
asiological overtones; thus it can create slogan-words, curse-words,
praise words and so forth.
- All the languages of heteroglossia are
different points of view. The referential and expressive
--that is, the intentional--factors are the force that stratifies and
differentiates the common literary language, but not the linguistic
markers. . .
- There are no "neutral" words 1214
C. The authority of literary language: Author's authority
in composition: Author decides what language to be included and how
to present them ("the common view" and "going point of view").
D. Parody: The distance thatt authors keeps themselves
from their writings attains parodic stylizations in comic novel.
Example: Charles Dickens Little Dorrit.
"To one degree or another, the author distances himself from this
common language, he steps back and objectifies it, forcing his own intentions to refract and diffuse
themselves through the medium of this common view that has become embodies in language" (37).
1. Ceremonial speeches
2. Another's speech in another's language is openly introduced
as indirect discourse.
3. High epic style.
4. Pseudo-objective motivation.
5. An epic, homeric introduction. (37-40)
6. fictive solidarity with the hypocritically ceremonial general
opinion of Merdle.
7. hybrid construction where within the frame of authorial speech.
8. analogous hybrid construction, in which the definition provided
by the general opinion of society.
A. a point where centrifugal as well as centripetal forces are
brought to bear. (1199) Transmission and interpretations: "Every conversation is full
of transmission and interpretations of other people's words" (40).
B. Three aspects of the speaking person: (332-3)
1. The speaking person and his discourse in the novel
is an object of verbal artistic representation.
C. Psychological impact concerning the speaking location: public
sphere: in real life, people give speeches in public occasions and
received other people's speeches too.
2. Individual character and individual fates--and the individual
discourse that is determined by these and only these--are in themselves of no concern for the novel.
3. The speaking person in the novel is always, to one degree
or another, an ideologue, and his words are always ideologemes. A particular language in a novel is always
a particular way of viewing the world.
D. The Uniqueness of individual voice: each individual is unique,
and each person's voice is certainly unique in historical context.
E. Socio-ideological consciousness: Double-voiced: "reciting
by heart" and "retelling in one's own words"
F. The authoritative discourses have been implanted in people
through education to become internally persuasive discourses later underlining people's behaviors and
G. The Authority of Authoritative Discourses: No argument:
1. Authoritative language is surrounded by many other languages.
Authoritative discourse may organize around itself great masses
of other types of discourses . . . but the authoritative discourse itself does not merge with these" (42).
2. People undoubtedly do not have choice to choose the authoritative
discourse inasmuch as it is authoritative discourse, it is inoscillatory.
"Authoritative discourse cannot be represented--it is only transmitted"
A. The language, the culture, the history: According
to the idea of uniqueness, each word in any language
will be given and bring different meanings in different space
and time based on the speaker's
B. "Half-ours and half-someone else's": This is a world contains
1. There is never a world of unitary voice.
2. Socio-ideological consciousness.
a. "Consciousness finds itself inevitably facing the
necessity of having to choose a language" (35).
b. "Our ideological development is just such an intense struggle
within us for hegemony among various available verbal and ideological points
of view, approaches, directions, and values" (44).
A. Can you identity Bakhtin's difference from formalism?
B. Bakhtin once had "dialogues" with Marxism and Freudism. Do
you see any dialogism among them?
What is the result of this dialogism?
Bakhtin, M. M. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M.
Bakhtin. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. (pagination in black is from this
"Discourse in the Novel." Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Eds. Vincent B. Leitch, et al. NY: Norton, 2001.
(pagination in red.)
Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas
Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology.
Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1998.
Vice, Sue. Introducing Bakhtin. Manchester and New York: Manchester
University Press, 1997.
Liu, Kang [劉康]. Bakhtin's Dialogism and Cultural Theory [對話的喧聲：巴赫汀文化理論述評].
[台北]: Rye Field [麥田], 1995.