Bakhtin’s essay From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse focuses primarily on how a variety of texts from the past come together to create the modern novel. In his essay, “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse,” Mikhail Bakhtin offers a study of novelistic discourse that emphasizes the history. Mikhail Bakhtin: From âThe Prehistory Of Novelistic Discourse’ Mikhail Bakhtin: from âThe Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’Â I [.

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Bakhtin – The Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse

Bakhtin and the Principle of Chronotopicity Documents. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here The literature of erudition’ of late antiquity – Novelisic GelliusPlutarch in his MoraliaMacrobius and, in particular, Athenaeus – provide sufficiently rich data for judging the scope and special character of the parodying and travestying literature of ancient times.

Email required Address never made public. But the most popular figure of the satyr play and other forms of the parodic travestying word was the figure prehishory the comic Hercules’.

E Pathshala – The power to learn more: “From the prehistory of Novelistic Discourses”

However, the history of language and verbal discourse has the power to change meaning. Rarely do these theoreticians focus on the notion of the comedy, specifically, and it was an interesting notion bakkhtin to attribute it to the inception of the early novel.

It is characteristic that the Greeks were not at all embarrassed to attribute discourss authorship of the parodic work War between the Mice and the Frogs’ to Discourae himself. First they were black and white, then in color, then longer and with sound, and now they are even in 3D.

All these types of stylistic analysis to a greater or lesser degree are remote from those peculiarities that define the novel as a genre, and they are also remote from the specifis conditions under which the word lives in the novel. You are commenting using your WordPress.

“…Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse” Bakhtin «Waldron’s Blog Waldron’s Blog

And all the while discourse in the novel has been living a life that is distinctly its own, a life that is impossible to understand from the point of view of stylistic categories formed on the basis of poetic genres in the narrow sense of that term.

These parodic-travestying counter-presentations of lofty national myths were just as sanctioned and canonical as their straightforward tragic manifestations.

What is more, these parodic doubles and laughing reflections of the direct word were, in some cases, just as sanctioned by tradition and just as canonized as their elevated models. During its germination and early development, the novelistic word reflected a primordial struggle between tribes, peoples, cultures and languages – it is still full of echoes of this ancient struggle.


Odysseus, as is well known, donned a clown’s fool’s cap pileus and harnessed his horse and ox to a plow, pretending to be mad in order to avoid participation in the war. Next he compares medieval literature to that of Greek and Latin literature in terms of how it affected the modern novel.

A new mode developed for working creatively with language: To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: All the tragedians – PhrynicousSophocles, Euripides – were writers of satyr plays as well, and Aeschylus, the most serious and pious of them all, an initiate into the highest Eleusinian Mysteries, was considered by the Greeks to be the greatest master of the satyr play.

In the second section he discusses parody, sonnet, tragedies, etc.

This latecomer reflects, in its stylistic structure, the struggle between two tendencies in the languages of European peoples: Although they are impeccably structured as sonnets, we could never possibly assign them to the sonnet genre.

In his essay Bakhtin argues that instead of analyzing the style of a novel, one should instead analyze the intricacies of discoures language employed within the novel. It is as if such mimicry rips the word away from its object, disunifies the two, shows that a given straightforward generic word – epic or tragic – is one-sided, bounded, incapable of exhausting the object; the process of parodying forces us to experience those sides of the object that are not otherwise included in a given genre or a given style.

The genre itself, the style, the language are all put in cheerfully irreverent quotation marks, and they are perceived against a backdrop of a contradictory reality that cannot be confined within their narrow frames.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. In Don Quixote they appear as part of a novel – but even the isolated parodic sonnet outside the novel could not be classified generically as a sonnet.

Bakhtin Discourse in the Novel. Novelistic discourse is always criticizing itself. The figure of the comic Novelistix was extremely popular, not only in Greece but also in Rome, and later in Byzantium where it became one of the central figures in the marionette theatre. What I got lost in was the myriad examples Bakhtin employed to illustrate his point. Lensky’s represented poetic speech is very distant from the direct word of the author himself as we have discoursd it: They liberated the object from the power of language in which it had become entangled as if in a net; they destroyed the homogenizing power of myth over language; they freed consciousness from the power of the direct word, destroyed the thick walls that had imprisoned consciousness within its own discourse, within its own language.


In the four lines cited by us above it is Lensky’s song itself, his voice, his poetic style that sounds, but it is permeated with the parodic and ironic accents of the author; that is the reason why it need not be distinguished from authorial speech by compositional or grammatical means.

It was the motif of madness that switched the figure of Odysseus from the high and straightforward plane to the comic plane of parody and travesty.

Were we to discard intonational question marks and take the use of metaphors here as the direct means by which the author represents himself, we would in so doing destroy the novelistic image [obraz] of another’s style, that is, destroy precisely that image that Pushkin, as novelist, constructs here. The novel senses itself on the border between the completed, dominant literary language and the extraliterary languages that know heteroglossia; the novel either serves to further the centralizing tendencies of a new literary language in the process of taking shape with its grammatical, stylistic and ideological normsor – on the contrary – the novel fights for the renovation of an antiquated literary language, in the interests of those strata of the national language that have remained to a greater or lesser degree outside the centralizing and unifying influence of the artistic and ideological norm established by the dominant literary language.

The aedile or rhapsode experienced himself in his own language, in his own discourse, in an utterly different way from the creator of War between the Mice and the Frogs’, or the creators of Margites. This site uses cookies.

I feel like we have spoken of this idea of originality a lot in class and it is therefore highly repetitive. Yuri Bakhtin – cims. When taken together with such figures as the comic Odysseus’ and the comic Hercules’, the fourth drama’, which was an indispensable conclusion to the tragic trilogy, indicates that the literary consciousness of the Greeks did not view the parodic-travestying reworkings of national myth as any particular profanation or blasphemy.

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