Μ. M. Bakhtin. Problems of Dostoevsky's poetics
Bakhtin Mikhail Mikhailovich (1895-1975) - United States philosopher, literary critic, aesthetist, culturologist. He studied at the Novorossiysk (Odessa) University, graduated from the Petrograd University. In the 1930s. was persecuted, was in exile.
I experienced the influence of Dostoevsky, Marxism, neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, existentialism, personalism, orthodoxy. Developed problems of the subject and methodology of the humanities, relying on the concept of dialogue and the concept of dialogue. His ideas have received wide international recognition.
Major works: Problems of Dostoevsky's poetics (1972), "Creativity by Francois Rabelais and the folk culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance". (1965), Aesthetics of verbal creativity (1979), "Questions of Literature and Aesthetics" (1975).
When you get acquainted with the extensive literature about Dostoevsky, you get the impression that it's not about one author-artist who wrote novels and novels, but a number of philosophical speeches several
of the author-thinkers - Raskolnikov, Myshkin, Stavrogin, Ivan Karamazov, the Grand Inquisitor and others. For literary criticism, Dostoevsky's work broke up into a number of independent and conflicting philosophical constructions defended by his heroes. Among them, the philosophical views of the author himself are far from the first place. The voice of Dostoevsky for some researchers merges with the voices of one or another of his characters, for others it is a kind of synthesis of all these ideological voices, for the third, finally, it is simply drowned out by them. With the heroes polemicize, the characters learn, their views are trying to develop to a complete system. The hero is ideologically authoritative and independent, he is perceived as the author of his own full-fledged ideological concept, and not as the object of Dostoevsky's final artistic vision. For the consciousness of critics, the direct weighty significance of the words of the hero breaks the monologic plane of the novel and calls to an immediate answer, as if the hero were not an object of the author's word, but a full-fledged and full-fledged bearer of his own word.
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Quite rightly noted this feature of the literature about Dostoevsky BM Engelhardt. "Finding out in the United States critical literature about Dostoevsky's works," he says, "it's easy to see that, with few exceptions, she does not rise above the spiritual level of his favorite heroes. It does not dominate the forthcoming material, but the material entirely owns it. She is still studying with Ivan Karamazov and Raskolnikov, Stavrogin and the Grand Inquisitor, becoming entangled in the contradictions in which they are entangled, stopping in perplexity over the problems they have not solved and respectfully bowing to their complex and painful experiences. "
A similar observation was made by J. Meyer-Gref, "Who ever came up with the idea - to take part in one of the many conversations of" Parenting the senses? "And we discuss with Raskolnikov - and not only with him, on and with any extras .
This feature of the critical literature about Dostoevsky can not, of course, be explained solely by the methodological helplessness of critical thought and regarded as a continuous violation of the author's artistic will. No, this critical literature approach, as well as the open-minded perception of readers who always argue with Dostoevsky's characters, really responds to the basic structural features of this author's works. Dostoevsky, like Goethe's Prometheus, creates not voiceless slaves (as Zeus), and free people, able to become close with his creator, disagree with them and even to rise to it.
The plurality of independent voices and consonants, genuine polyphony of full voices is really the main feature of Dostoevsky's novels. Not a multitude of characters and destinies in a single objective world in the light of a single authorial consciousness unfolds in his works, but it is the plurality of equal-rights consciousnesses with their worlds that is combined here, preserving their non-sharing, into the unity of some event. Dostoevsky's main characters are really in the artist's creative intent not only the objects of the author's word, but also the subjects of his own, directly meaningful words. The word of the hero therefore is not at all exhausted here by the usual characteristic and plot-pragmatic functions, but also does not serve as an expression of the author's own ideological position (as in Byron, for example). Consciousness of the hero is given as another, another's consciousness, but at the same time it does not matter, it closes, it becomes a simple object of the author's consciousness. In this sense, Dostoevsky's image of the hero is not the usual object image of the hero in the traditional novel.
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Dostoevsky is the creator of the polyphonic novel. He created an essentially new novel genre. Therefore, his work does not fit into any framework, does not obey any of those historical and literary schemes, which we are accustomed to apply to the phenomena of the European novel. In his works appears a hero whose voice is constructed in the same way as the voice of the author himself is constructed in the novel of the usual type. The word of the hero about himself and about the world is just as full as the usual author's word; it is not subject to the object image of the hero as one of its characteristics, but also does not serve as the mouthpiece of the author's voice. He owns an exceptional independence in the structure of the work, it sounds as if next to the author's word and in a special way is combined with it and with the full-fledged voices of other heroes.
It follows that the usual plot-pragmatic connections of the objective or psychological order in Dostoevsky's world are insufficient: these links presuppose objectivity, the objectification of heroes in the author's design, they connect and combine the completed images of people in the unity of the monologically perceived and understood world, and not plurality of equal rights with their worlds. The usual plot pragmatics in Dostoevsky's novels plays a secondary role and carries special, not ordinary functions. The last bracing, creating the unity of his novel world, of a different kind; the main event, revealed by his novel, is not amenable to the usual plot-pragmatic interpretation.
Next, and the very setting of the story - whether it is given from the author or is conducted by the narrator or one of the heroes - should be completely different than in novels of monologic form. The position with which the narrative is conducted, the image is constructed or information is given, must be re-oriented in a new way towards this new world-the world of full-fledged subjects, and not objects. A fantastic, pictorial and informative word must develop some new attitude to its subject.
Thus, all the elements of the novel structure of Dostoevsky are deeply peculiar; all of them are determined by the new artistic task that he alone has managed to solve and solve in all its breadth and depth: the task of building a polyphonic world and destroying the established forms of a European, mostly monologic (homophonic) novel.
From the point of view of the consistent monologic vision and understanding of the depicted world and the monologic canon of the novel's construction, Dostoevsky's world may seem chaotic, and the construction of his novels is some kind of conglomerate of alien materials and incompatible design principles. Only in the light of Dostoevsky's basic artistic task formulated by us can the deep organic nature, consistency and wholeness of his poetics become clear.
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