Thursday, May 16, 2013

“From the prehistory of Novelistic Discourses”

“From the prehistory of Novelistic Discourses”
Mikhail Bakhtin(1895-1975)
            A Russian literary theorist, Bakhtin has been a great influence on the contemporary theory of Discourse analysis. He is best known by his works named The Dialogic Imagination (1981), Speech Genres and Other Late Essays (1986), Rabelais and his World (1968), and Problems of Dostoevski’s Poetics (1984). In these studies, there is a critique of Russian Formalism and an outline of his characteristic theme of “dialogism.” He criticizes Formalism for its abstraction, for its failure to analyse the content of literary works, and for the difficulty it finds in analysing linguistic and ideological changes. This critique is then extended to linguistics, especially the Saussurean. In his view, the purely linguistic approach to both language and literature is highly limited in scope. It tends to isolate linguistic units or literary texts from their social context, having no analysis to offer of the relations that exist between both individual speakers and texts.