Dialogic Imaginings: Stalin's Re-Reading in the 1930s of the Brothers Karamazov

Dialogic Imaginings: Stalin's Re-Reading in the 1930s of the Brothers Karamazov consciousness - and that's how you get dialectic."4 Taken to an extreme, one might say, that this is also one way that you get Stalinism, its suppression of what Bakhtin calls "the problenl of the second conscious,ness."s In this regard, Bakhtin refers to the Zosima episodes in The Brothers Karamazov, in particular to "Zosima's 'mysterious visitor''': "The inexhaustibility of the second consciousness, that is, consciousness of the person who understands and responds: herein lies a potential infinity of responses, languages, ~odes. Infinity against infinity.,,6 In the case of Zosima's narrative of the mysterious visitor, this second consciousness, which "c4anges the entire situation,"? would first of all beZosima as he listens to the visitor's confession, but it would also be chitecture were categorical in the· extreme. Making utterances on practically everything, as the first person in the state, he indeed became a universal dilettante, and this in tum worked t~ enhance his image as the omniscient leader" (Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, trans. Harold Shukman [New York: Forum, 19911,' p. , 228). 2. BC:\khtin, The Dialogic Imagination, pp. 342-43 3. Ibid., p. 346. 4. M. M. Bakhtin, "Notes Made in 1970-71," in Speech Genres & Other Late Essays, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Dostoevsky Journal: A Comparative Literature Review Brill

Dialogic Imaginings: Stalin's Re-Reading in the 1930s of the Brothers Karamazov

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1535-5314
eISSN
2375-2122
DOI
10.1163/23752122-00701003
Publisher site
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Abstract

consciousness - and that's how you get dialectic."4 Taken to an extreme, one might say, that this is also one way that you get Stalinism, its suppression of what Bakhtin calls "the problenl of the second conscious,ness."s In this regard, Bakhtin refers to the Zosima episodes in The Brothers Karamazov, in particular to "Zosima's 'mysterious visitor''': "The inexhaustibility of the second consciousness, that is, consciousness of the person who understands and responds: herein lies a potential infinity of responses, languages, ~odes. Infinity against infinity.,,6 In the case of Zosima's narrative of the mysterious visitor, this second consciousness, which "c4anges the entire situation,"? would first of all beZosima as he listens to the visitor's confession, but it would also be chitecture were categorical in the· extreme. Making utterances on practically everything, as the first person in the state, he indeed became a universal dilettante, and this in tum worked t~ enhance his image as the omniscient leader" (Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, trans. Harold Shukman [New York: Forum, 19911,' p. , 228). 2. BC:\khtin, The Dialogic Imagination, pp. 342-43 3. Ibid., p. 346. 4. M. M. Bakhtin, "Notes Made in 1970-71," in Speech Genres & Other Late Essays,

Journal

The Dostoevsky Journal: A Comparative Literature ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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