Mikhail Bakhtin Famous Quotes & Sayings

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65 Mikhail Bakhtin Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The movement of time is guaranteed by the birth of generation after generation, a never-ending The movement of time is guaranteed by the birth of generation after generation, a never-ending succession that fills the gods with fear.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: All words have the "taste" of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a All words have the "taste" of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a particular work, a particular person, a generation, an age group, the day and hour. Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life ...
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: According to Dostoevsky, all is simultaneous, everything coexists. That which has meaning only as "earlier" According to Dostoevsky, all is simultaneous, everything coexists. That which has meaning only as "earlier" or "later," which is sufficient only unto its own moment, which is valid only as past, or as future, or as present in relation to past or future, is for him nonessential and is not incorporated into his world. That is why his characters remember nothing, they have no biography in the sense of something past and fully experienced. They remember from their own past only that which has not ceased to be present for them, that which is still experienced by them as the present: an unexpiated sin, a crime, an unforgiven insult.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: There were quotations that were openly and reverently emphasized as such, or that were half-hidden, There were quotations that were openly and reverently emphasized as such, or that were half-hidden, completely hidden, half-conscious, unconscious, correct, intentionally distorted, unintentionally distorted, deliberately reinterpreted and so forth. The boundary lines between someone else's speech and one's own speech were flexible, ambiguous, often deliberately distorted and confused. Certain types of text were constructed like mosaics out of the texts of others.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Laughter has the remarkable power of making an object come up close, of drawing it Laughter has the remarkable power of making an object come up close, of drawing it into a zone of crude contact where one can finger it familiarly on all sides, turn it upside down, inside out, peer at it from above and below, break open its external shell, look into its center, doubt it, take it apart, dismember it, lay it bare and expose it, examine it freely and experiment with it. Laughter demolishes fear and piety before an object, before a world, making of it an object of familiar contact and thus clearing the ground for an absolutely free investigation of it. Laughter is a vital factor in laying down that prerequisite for fearlessness without which it would be impossible to approach the world realistically.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In order to understand, it is immensely important for the person who understands to be In order to understand, it is immensely important for the person who understands to be located outside the object of his or her creative understanding - in time, in space, in culture. For one cannot even really see one's own exterior and comprehend it as a whole, and no mirrors or photographs can help; our real exterior can be seen and understood only by other people, because they are located outside us in space, and because they are others.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Prophecy is characteristic for the epic, prediction for the novel. Prophecy is characteristic for the epic, prediction for the novel.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: To a greater or lesser extent, every novel is a dialogized system made up of To a greater or lesser extent, every novel is a dialogized system made up of the images of "languages," styles and consciousnesses that are concrete and inseparable from language. Language in the novel not only represents, but itself serves as the object of representation.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: A third characteristic is the deliberate multi-styled and heterovoiced nature of all these genres. They A third characteristic is the deliberate multi-styled and heterovoiced nature of all these genres. They reject the stylistic unity (or better, the single-styled nature) of the epic, the tragedy, high rhetoric, the lyric.
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The catharsis that finalizes Dostoevsky's novels might be - of course inadequately and somewhat rationalistically The catharsis that finalizes Dostoevsky's novels might be - of course inadequately and somewhat rationalistically - expressed in this way: nothing conclusive has yet taken place in the world, the ultimate word of the world and about the world has not yet been spoken, the world is open and free, everything is still in the future and will always be in the future
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Dostoevsky, like Goethe's Prometheus, creates not voiceless slaves (as does Zeus), but free people, capable Dostoevsky, like Goethe's Prometheus, creates not voiceless slaves (as does Zeus), but free people, capable of standing alongside their creator, capable of not agreeing with him and even of rebelling against him. A
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In rhetoric there are the unconditionally right and the unconditionally guilty; there is total victory In rhetoric there are the unconditionally right and the unconditionally guilty; there is total victory and the annihilation of the opponent. In dialogue, annihilation of the opponent also annihilates the very dialogic sphere in which discourse lives... This sphere is very fragile and is easily destroyed...
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Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The events of my birth...and finally of my death are not accomplished in me or The events of my birth...and finally of my death are not accomplished in me or for me. The affective weight of my life as a whole does not exist for me. Only the Other is in possession of the values of the being of a given person.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The themes of metamorphosis (transformation-particularlyhuman transformation-and identity (particularly human identity) are drawn from the treasury The themes of metamorphosis (transformation-particularly
human transformation-and identity (particularly human identity) are drawn from the treasury of pre-class world folklore. The folkloric image of man is intimately bound up with transformation and identity. This combination may be seen with particular clarity in the popular folktale )skazkaj. The folktale image of man-throughout the extraordinary variety of folkloric narratives-always orders itself around the motifs of transformation and identity (no matter how varied in its turn the concrete expression of these motifs might be).
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: This is a profoundly universal laughter, a laughter that contains a whole outlook on the This is a profoundly universal laughter, a laughter that contains a whole outlook on the world.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Each novel presents an opposition, which is never canceled out dialectically, of many consciousnesses, and Each novel presents an opposition, which is never canceled out dialectically, of many consciousnesses, and they do not merge in the unity of an evolving spirit, just as souls and spirits do not merge in the formally polyphonic world of Dante.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Truth is not born nor is it to be found inside the head of an Truth is not born nor is it to be found inside the head of an individual person, it is born between people collectively searching for truth, in the process of their dialogic interaction.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: everything resulting from socio-hierarchical inequality or any other form of inequality among people (including age). everything resulting from socio-hierarchical inequality or any other form of inequality among people (including age). All distance between people is suspended, and a special carnival category goes into effect: free and familiar contact among people.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Where there is no passage of time there is also no moment of time, in Where there is no passage of time there is also no moment of time, in the full and most essential meaning of the word. If taken outside its relationship to past and future, the present loses its integrity, breaks down into isolated phenomena and objects, making of them a mere abstract conglomeration.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The novel has become the leading hero in the drama of literary development in our The novel has become the leading hero in the drama of literary development in our time precisely because it best of all reflects the tendencies of a new world still in the making; it is, after all, the only genre born of this new world and in total affinity with it.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: That accents of the hero's self-consciousness are really objectified and that the work itself observes That accents of the hero's self-consciousness are really objectified and that the work itself observes a distance between the hero and the author. If the umbilical cord uniting the hero to his creator is not cut, then what we have is not a work of art but a personal document. Dostoevsky's
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In Dostoevsky, two thoughts are already two people, for there are no thoughts belonging to In Dostoevsky, two thoughts are already two people, for there are no thoughts belonging to no one and every thought represents an entire person. This
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: To think about them means to talk with them; otherwise they immediately turn to us To think about them means to talk with them; otherwise they immediately turn to us their objectivized side: they fall silent, close up, and congeal into finished, objectivized images.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Words belong to nobody, and in themselves they evaluate nothing. But they can serve any Words belong to nobody, and in themselves they evaluate nothing. But they can serve any speaker and be used for the most varied and directly contradictory evaluations on the part of the speakers.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The principle of laughter and the carnival spirit on which the grotesque is based destroys The principle of laughter and the carnival spirit on which the grotesque is based destroys this limited seriousness and all pretense of an extratemporal meaning and unconditional value of necessity. It frees human consciousness, thought, and imagination for new potentialities. For this reason, great changes, even in the field of science, are always preceded by a certain carnival consciousness that prepares the way.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The way in which I create myself is by means of a quest. I go The way in which I create myself is by means of a quest. I go out into the world in order to come back with a self.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: 14. Finally, the last characteristic of the menippea: its concern with current and topical issues. 14. Finally, the last characteristic of the menippea: its concern with current and topical issues. This is, in its own way, the "journalistic" genre of antiquity, acutely echoing the ideological issues of the day.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In poetry, even discourse about doubts must be cast in a discourse that cannot be In poetry, even discourse about doubts must be cast in a discourse that cannot be doubted.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: No, the hero interests Dostoevsky as a particular point of view on the world and No, the hero interests Dostoevsky as a particular point of view on the world and on oneself, as the position enabling a person to interpret and evaluate his own self and his surrounding reality.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Carnivalization is not an external and immobile schema which is imposed upon ready-made content; it Carnivalization is not an external and immobile schema which is imposed upon ready-made content; it is, rather, an extraordinarily flexible form of artistic visualization, a peculiar sort of heuristic principle making possible the discovery of new and as yet unseen things. By relativizing all that was externally stable, set and ready-made, carnivalization with its pathos of change and renewal permitted Dostoevsky to penetrate into the deepest layers of man and human relationships.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Especially in the Christian cult (wine and bread on the altar-tomb as the mystical body Especially in the Christian cult (wine and bread on the altar-tomb as the mystical body of Him Who Was Crucified, Who died and Who
was resurrected; the sacrament of new life and resurrection through food and drink). In the cultic redaction all elements of the complex appear not in a real but in a sublimated form, and are linked with one another not via a real-life narrative, but through mystic-symbolic links and interrelationships, and the triumph of life over death (resurrection) is accomplished not on a real and earthly plane but on a mystical one.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: It is given to all of Dostoevsky's characters to "think and seek higher things"; in It is given to all of Dostoevsky's characters to "think and seek higher things"; in each of them there is a "great and unresolved thought"; all of them must, before all else, "get a thought straight." And in this resolution of a thought (an idea) lies their entire real life and their own personal unfinalizability. If
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The fundamental category in Dostoevsky's mode of artistic visualizing was not evolution, but coexistence and The fundamental category in Dostoevsky's mode of artistic visualizing was not evolution, but coexistence and interaction. He saw and conceived his world primarily in terms of space, not time.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In actual fact, the utterly incompatible elements comprising Dostoevsky's material are distributed among several worlds In actual fact, the utterly incompatible elements comprising Dostoevsky's material are distributed among several worlds and several autonomous consciousnesses; they are presented not within a single field of vision but within several fields of vision, each full and of equal worth; and it is not the material directly but these worlds, their consciousnesses with their individual fields of vision that combine in a higher unity, a unity, so to speak, of the second order, the unity of a polyphonic novel.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Nothing is absolutely dead: every meaning will have its homecoming festival. Nothing is absolutely dead: every meaning will have its homecoming festival.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: For him, to get one's bearings on the world meant to conceive all its contents For him, to get one's bearings on the world meant to conceive all its contents as simultaneous, and to guess at their interrelationships in the cross-section of a single moment. This
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Histories are like novels in that they set out to provide more or less comprehensive Histories are like novels in that they set out to provide more or less comprehensive accounts of social systems.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Language, for the individual consciousness, lies on the borderline between oneself and the other. The Language, for the individual consciousness, lies on the borderline between oneself and the other. The word in language is half someone else's. It becomes 'one's owns' only when the speaker populates it with his own intention, his own accent, when he appropriates the word, adapting it to his own semantic and expressive intention. Prior to this moment of appropriation, the word does not exist in a natural and impersonal language (it is not, after all, out of a dictionary that the speaker gets his words!), but rather it exists in other people's mouths, in other people's contexts, serving other people's intentions: it is from there that one must take the word, and make it one's own.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Dostoevsky's hero is not only a discourse about himself and his immediate environment, but also Dostoevsky's hero is not only a discourse about himself and his immediate environment, but also a discourse about the world; he is not only cognizant, but an ideologist as well. The
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Dostoevsky's work contains no evolution of thought, not even within the boundaries of the consciousness Dostoevsky's work contains no evolution of thought, not even within the boundaries of the consciousness of individual heroes (with very rare exceptions). Semantic material is always given to the hero's consciousness all at once and in its entirety, and given not as individual thoughts and propositions but as the semantic orientations of whole human beings, as voices; it remains only to make a choice among them.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Deeply ambivalent also is carnival laughter itself. Genetically it is linked with the most ancient Deeply ambivalent also is carnival laughter itself. Genetically it is linked with the most ancient forms of ritual laughter. Ritual laughter was always directed toward something higher: the sun (the highest god), other gods, the highest earthly authority were put to shame and ridiculed to force them to renew themselves.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: A whole spectrum of possible relationships comes to light, beginning at one pole with the A whole spectrum of possible relationships comes to light, beginning at one pole with the pious and inert quotation that is isolated and set off like an icon, and ending at the other pole with the most ambiguous, disrespectful, parodic-travestying use of a quotation. The transitions between various nuances on this spectrum are to such an extent flexible, vacillating and ambiguous that it is often difficult to decide whether we are confronting a reverent use of a sacred word or more familiar, even parodic playing with it.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: It portrays, first of all, the life of "Russians abroad," a special category of people It portrays, first of all, the life of "Russians abroad," a special category of people that attracted Dostoevsky's interest. These are people cut off from their native land and folk, whose life ceases to be determined by the norms of people living in their own country; their behavior is no longer regulated by that position which they had occupied in their homeland, they are not fastened down to their environment.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: In none of Dostoevsky's novels is there any evolution of a unified spirit; in fact In none of Dostoevsky's novels is there any evolution of a unified spirit; in fact there is no evolution, no growth in general,
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: This relative freedom of a hero does not violate the strict specificity of the construction, This relative freedom of a hero does not violate the strict specificity of the construction, just as the specificity of a mathematical formula is not violated by the presence of irrational or transfinite quantities.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: But in fact Dostoevsky found and was capable of perceiving multi-leveledness and contradictoriness not in But in fact Dostoevsky found and was capable of perceiving multi-leveledness and contradictoriness not in the spirit, but in the objective social world. In this social world, planes were not stages but opposing camps, and the contradictory relationships among them were not the rising or descending course of an individual personality, but the condition of society. The multi-leveledness and contradictoriness of social reality was present as an objective fact of the epoch. The
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Dostoevsky's authorial activity is evident in his extension of every contending point of view to Dostoevsky's authorial activity is evident in his extension of every contending point of view to its maximal force and depth, to the outside limits of plausibility. He strives to expose and develop all the semantic possibilities embedded in a given point of view (Chernyshevsky, as we have seen, strove for the same thing in his Pearl of Creation). This Dostoevsky knew how to do with extraordinary power. And this activity, the intensifying of someone else's thought, is possible only on the basis of a dialogic relationship to that other consciousness, that other point of view. We
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The forms of direct-half-hidden and completely hidden quoting were endlessly varied, as were the forms The forms of direct-half-hidden and completely hidden quoting were endlessly varied, as were the forms for framing quotations by a context, forms of intonational quotation marks, varying degrees of alienation or assimilation of another's quoted word. And here the problem frequently arises: is the author quoting with reverence or on the contrary with irony, with a smirk? Double entendre as regards the other's word was often deliberate.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Discourse about the world merges with confessional discourse about oneself. Discourse about the world merges with confessional discourse about oneself.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Carnival is past millennia's way of sensing the world as one great communal performance. This Carnival is past millennia's way of sensing the world as one great communal performance. This sense of the world, liberating one from fear, bringing the world maximally close to a person and bringing one person maximally close to another (everything is drawn into the zone of free familiar contact), with its joy at change and its joyful relativity, is opposed to that one-sided and gloomy official seriousness which is dogmatic and hostile to evolution and change, which seeks to absolutize a given condition of existence or a given social order. From precisely that sort of seriousness did the carnival sense of the world liberate man.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: drama is by its very nature alien to genuine polyphony; drama may be multi-leveled, but drama is by its very nature alien to genuine polyphony; drama may be multi-leveled, but it cannot contain multiple worlds; it permits only one, and not several, systems of measurement. Secondly,
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: I find three basic characteristics that fundamentally distinguish the novel in principle from other genres: I find three basic characteristics that fundamentally distinguish the novel in principle from other genres: (i) its stylistic three-dimensionality, which is linked with the multi-languaged consciousness realized in the novel; (2) the radical change it effects in the temporal coordinates of the literary image; (3) the new zone opened by the novel for structuring literary images, namely, the zone of maximal contact with the present (with contemporary reality) in all its openendedness.
These three characteristics of the novel are all organically interrelated and have all been powerfully affected by a very specific rupture in the history of European civilization: its emergence from a socially isolated and culturally deaf semipatriarchal society, and its entrance into international and interlingual contacts and relationships.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: There is no such thing as a "general language," a language that is spoken by There is no such thing as a "general language," a language that is spoken by a general voice, that may be divorced from a specific saying, which is charged with particular overtones. Language, when it means, is somebody talking to somebody else, even when that someone else is one's own inner addressee.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: All the images of carnival are dualistic; they unite within themselves both poles of change All the images of carnival are dualistic; they unite within themselves both poles of change and crisis: birth and death (the image of pregnant death), blessing and curse (benedictory carnival curses which call simultaneously for death and rebirth), praise and abuse, youth and old age, top and bottom, face and backside, stupidity and wisdom.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: For the prose artist the world is full of other people's words, among which he For the prose artist the world is full of other people's words, among which he must orient himself and whose speech characteristics he must be able to perceive with a very keen ear. He must introduce them into the plane of his own discourse, but in such a way that this plane is not destroyed.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The essence of polyphony lies precisely in the fact that the voices remain independent and, The essence of polyphony lies precisely in the fact that the voices remain independent and, as such, are combined in a unity of a higher order than in homophony.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: What is realized in the novel is the process of coming to know one's own What is realized in the novel is the process of coming to know one's own language as it is perceived in someone else's language, coming to know one's own belief system in someone else's system.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: A newly born genre never supplants or replaces any already existing genres. Each new genre A newly born genre never supplants or replaces any already existing genres. Each new genre merely supplements the old ones, merely widens the circle of already existing genres. For every genre has its own predominant sphere of existence, in which it is irreplaceable. Thus the appearance of the polyphonic novel does not nullify or in any way restrict the further productive development of monologic forms of the novel (biographical, historical, the novel of everyday life, the novel-epic, etc.), for there will always continue to exist and expand those spheres of existence, of man and nature, which require precisely objectified and finalizing, that is monological, forms of artistic cognition. But again we repeat: the thinking human consciousness and the dialogic sphere in which this consciousness exists, in all its depth and specificity, cannot be reached through a monologic artistic approach.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: It is quite possible to imagine and postulate a unified truth that requires a plurality It is quite possible to imagine and postulate a unified truth that requires a plurality of consciousnesses, one that cannot... be fitted into the bounds of a single consciousness, one that is, so to speak, by its very nature full of event potential and is born at a point of contact among various consciousnesses....
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Carnival laughter does not permit a single one of these aspects of change to be Carnival laughter does not permit a single one of these aspects of change to be absolutized or to congeal in one-sided seriousness.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Dostoevsky's hero is not an objectified image but an autonomous discourse, pure voice; we do Dostoevsky's hero is not an objectified image but an autonomous discourse, pure voice; we do not see him, we hear him;
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: fundamentally distinguish the novel in principle from other genres: (i) its stylistic three-dimensionality, which is fundamentally distinguish the novel in principle from other genres: (i) its stylistic three-dimensionality, which is linked with the multi-languaged consciousness realized in the novel; (2) the radical change it effects in the temporal coordinates of the literary image; (3) the new zone opened by the novel for structuring literary images, namely, the zone of maximal contact with the present (with contemporary reality) in all its openendedness.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: The primary carnivalistic act is the mock crowning and subsequent decrowning of the carnival king. The primary carnivalistic act is the mock crowning and subsequent decrowning of the carnival king.
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: For the main object of his representation is the word itself, and specifically the fully For the main object of his representation is the word itself, and specifically the fully signifying word. Dostoevsky's works are a word about a word addressed to a word. The represented word comes together with the representing word on one level and on equal terms. They penetrate one another, overlap one another at various dialogic angles. As a result of this encounter, new aspects and new functions of the word are revealed and brought to the fore,
Mikhail Bakhtin Sayings: Yet people and things have gone through something, something that did not, indeed, change them Yet people and things have gone through something, something that did not, indeed, change them but that did (in a manner of speaking) affirm what they, and precisely they, were as individuals, something that did verify and establish
their identity, their durability and continuity. The hammer of events shatters nothing and forges nothing-it merely tries the durability of an already finished product. And the product passes the test. Thus is constituted the artistic and ideological meaning of the Greek romance.