Answerability, Dialogized Heteroglossia, and Context Multiplicity: A Post-Bakhtinian Study of Novelistic Discourse

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

Abstract

In light of the Bakhtinian heteroglossia and authorial hybrid construction, the present study sets out to argue how the assimilation of alien stylistics into the realm of social and ideological discourse may transcend the limits of the centralizing logos prevalent in the orthodox poetics. In so doing, first, an analysis of the Bakhtinian concepts is provided to renegotiate his argument on the aesthetic and rhetorical capacities of the prose fiction vis-à-vis the totalitarian poetic discourse. Accordingly, as an innovation, this study suggests that the subversive potentiality of a text stems from both its carnivalesque interrelatedness with a dominant culture and its capability to transcend the limits of the said culture and to revitalize its synchronic and diachronic affiliations to other cultures. To confirm this, a good array of examples is drawn from novelistic texts. In Gunter Grass’s The Tin Drum, the protagonist’s mocking attitude towards centripetal fatherhood and his going ahead of clock strokes and hence weaving here-and-now to there-and-then so as to claim possession of his once-beloved woman is a significant case in point. Thus, not only can the marginalized utterances deal with patriarchies of the dominant culture, but also they can restructure their independent sphere based on their internal and external exigencies.

Keywords


Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays, Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1984). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Barthes, R. (1977). The death of the author: Image, music, and text. London: Fontana Press.

Calvino, I. (1979). If on a winter’s night, a traveler, trans. Torino: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Incorporation.

Carroll, J. (2013). Correcting for The corrections: A Darwinian critique of a Foucauldian novel. Style, 47, 79-112.

Daram, M., & Kharrasi, M. (2014). Narrative vagueness in Gunter Grass’s The Tin Drum: A text-centric model of narration to reveal dialogized heteroglossia. RALs, 5(2), 175-184.

Dentith, S. (1996). Bakhtinian thought: An introductory reader. London: Routledge Publications.

Derrida, J. (2008). The gift of death (2nd ed.), trans. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Grass, G. (1959). The tin drum. trans. Breon Mitchell (2009). New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publications.

Lane, R. J. (2006). Fifty key literary theorists. New York: Routledge Publications.

Lodge, D. (2000). Modern criticism and theory: A reader (2nd ed.). New York: Longman Pearson Education.

Žižek, S. (2006). The parallax view. Cambridge and London: MIT Press.