, 1(2000), 1-9. ARTICLES/CTATLII PETER MATHEWS and BRYAN COOKE Perhaps more than any other figure in the canon, Dostoevsky is equated by literary and critical discourses with an absolute' encapsulation of the psyche and the worll;i - life as~a "whole," unabridged and unfettered, life with not only warts, but boils, pustules and syphilis. The contribution of Mikhail Bahtin's··metalinguistic theories to the field of Dostoevsky studies marks the belated arrival of an "open" hermeneutic and the pbssibility of a heterogeneous interpretation. Bakhtin's analysis ranges widely, from the Menippean tradition in such ancient authors as Plato and Apuleius, to the carnival tradition of the medieval period in Dante, Rabelais and 'Cervantes, to the apex of these traditions" as he sees it, in the modern novels of Dostoevsky. Bakhtin analyzes the historical rise of the novel in concert with a movement away from the epic mode. The epic, argues Bakhtin, was a way of writing rooted in the ;'monological," where all elements of the narrative conformed to an architectonic, unifying logic. The novel, therefore, was not merely a stylistic break (because it allowed the incorporation of various registers of literary discourse into a single body of work) but also a philosophical
The Dostoevsky Journal: A Comparative Literature Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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