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

Document Type : Research Article


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


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.


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