He leaves us with the fact that we have touched upon two of many factors that were at work in the prehistory of novelistic discourse. According. Mikhail Bakhtin: From âThe Prehistory Of Novelistic Discourse’ Mikhail Bakhtin: from âThe Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’Â I [. In his essay, “From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse,” Mikhail Bakhtin offers a study of novelistic discourse that emphasizes the history.

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Parodic-travestying literature introduces the permanent corrective of laughter, of a critique on the one-sided seriousness of the lofty direct word, the corrective of reality that is always richer, more fundamental and most importantly too contradictory and heteroglot to be fitted into disscourse high and straightforward genre.

Bakhtin spent page after page talking directly and indirectly about the nature and use of parody, even going into its early use in the Middle Age carnival.

Mikhail Bakhtin: From ‘the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’ Essay

IIOne of the most ancient and widespread forms for representing the direct word of another is parody. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Bakhtin and the Principle of Chronotopicity Documents. Save as PDF version of bakhtin and the visual arts In this consists the categorical distinction between the novel and all straight-forward genres – the epic poem, the lyric and the drama strictly conceived. The individual artistic personality of the author, the literary school, the general characteristics of poetic language or of the literary language of a particular era all serve to conceal from us the genre itself, with the specific demands it makes upon language and the specific possibilities it opens up for it.

Email required Address never made public. He begins his essay by outlining the history of the novel, as well as the history of and introduction to the study of novelistic discourse.

Bakhtin Discourse in the Novel. The reigning theories of poetic imagery are completely powerless to analyze these complex internally dialogized images of whole languages. While polyglossia complicated the novelistic discourse and how texts were read, the Bible remains the one text read and interpreted by many. The most ancient forms for representing language were organized by laughter – these were originally nothing more than the ridiculing of another’s language and another’s direct discourse.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: They all take a novelist’s language and style not as the language and style of a novel but merely as the expression of a specific individual artistic personality, or as the style of a particular literary school or finally as a phenomenon common to poetic language in general. You are commenting using your WordPress.

Bakhtin – The Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse

The importance of parodic-travestying forms in world literature is enormous. De Man concludes, that theory is resistance to itself in the same way that Bakhtin concludes that the language of the novel criticizes itself. Here, for example, is how Pushkin characterizes Lensky’s poetry [Evgenij Onegin, 2.

The figure of the comic Hercules 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.

It is characteristic that the Greeks were not at all embarrassed to attribute the authorship of the parodic work War between the Mice and the Frogs’ to Homer himself. That is not to say that this essay was not interesting and informative.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. First they were black and white, then in color, then longer and with sound, and now they are even in 3D. This site uses cookies.

In addition, the second portion of the essay incorporates the idea of polyglossia—the coexistence of multiple languages in the same area—to illustrate the challenges of construction a common vernacular within literature.

Until quite recently this figure lived on in the Turkish game of prehistroy puppets’.

These two factors in the prehistory of novelistic discourse are the subject of the present article. In stating this, Bakhtin seems to be saying that the history of different languages and cultures and the works they created contribute to the current form of the novel today.


Prehistory is the oldest period in human History and lasted between the appearance of mankind ca. For the creating literary consciousness, existing in a field illuminated by another’s language, it is not the phonetic system of its own language that stands out, nor is it the distinctive features of its own morphology novlistic its own abstract lexicon – what stands out is precisely that thee makes language concrete and which makes its world view ultimately untranslatable, that is, precisely the style of nvoelistic languages as a totality.

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 dizcourse own discourse, within its own language.

Mikhail Bakhtin: From ‘the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse’

Take, for example, the parodic sonnets with which Novelitsic Quixote begins. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: For the same reasons one could not under any circumstances assign to the genres of epic poem’ the parodic epic War between the Mice and the Frogs’.

Mr WordPress on Hello world! All throughout he uses examples from literature to back up his points.

They cannot be understood as the direct poetic images of Pushkin himself although formally, of course, the characterization is that of the author. Language in the novel not only represents, but itself serves as the object of representation.

What is distinctive about parody as a form? A new mode developed for working creatively with language: