Discontinuous Discourses in Modern Russian Literature by Michael Makin, Catriona Kelly, David Shepherd, Dominique de

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By Michael Makin, Catriona Kelly, David Shepherd, Dominique de Rambures

This number of 8 essays reconsider Russian literature, paying specific realization to writings via ladies and to pop culture, and problem traditional readings of the Russian "great tradition". The prestige of the literary canon is wondered and the placement of the critic re-evaluated. the unconventional viewpoint of the 8 writers takes its orientation particularly from the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and from western feminism.

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Its frame of historical reference seems precise, but is actually deliberately confused and confusing: the action takes place apparently five years after the end of the Civil War, but immediately following an abortive attempt by White elements to usurp power in Karachai in the Caucasus. Reconsolidation of Soviet power involves, among other things, the establishment as a 'mass-circulation printed organ' (2, p. 6) of a local paper, the Amanaus Pravda, hitherto only a wall David Shepherd 41 newspaper.

If monologism is only discourse which misunderstands itself, then Saus sure is to be faulted only with having made an understandable theoretical error. Formalist linguistics is no longer a politically dangerous practice but simply a theoretically inadequate one. And, perhaps, it is only inadequate 26 Dialogism as aChallenge to Literary Criticism and not entirely wrong about discourse. When Saussure is construed as merely inadequate theory, rather than as a theoretical force which actually shapes a practice of discourse (the poetic), then Bakhtin is tumed into a theorist of parole; indeed, the matter is often put in this way.

The range of possible definitions has only been increased by the critical assimilation of the last few years. It is tempting to assume that the relation between the elusiveness of this concept and its current popularity is direct, but part of the appeal must also lie in the dear way in whieh this concept connects literature to larger sodal questions at a time when this connection is being dosely examined. For dialogism is not used by literary critidsm today as only another analytical tool for the formal analysis of texts: it is also treated as the symbol, or index, of a sodal ideal.

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