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Mikhail BakhtinAn Aesthetic for Democracy$
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Ken Hirschkop

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159612.001.0001

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The Novel

The Novel

(p.225) CHAPTER FIVE The Novel
Mikhail Bakhtin


Oxford University Press

The chapter talks about what a novel is. It is a narrative genre of chronotopes, it states. It uses two weapons: dialogism and chronotope. Whenever Bakhtin spoke of dialogism, he did not speak of narrative and vice versa. Thus, when dialogism is Bakhtin’s chosen theme, narrative appears as a hazard and a danger. However, narrative remains central to the conception of dialogism itself. It is the key to authorial perspective. By his account, the ‘modern novel of becoming’ combined a passion for the historical movement and the biographical novel. It appears to do no more than be faithful to a profoundly changing history. The point is that particulars such as conception of life or happiness should not be isolated. He realized that historical movement was ‘chronotopic’ rather than a matter of pure personalities. It would seem that he believed that a novelized culture could be constructed beyond the borders of politics.

Keywords:   novel, chronotopes, dialogism, narrative, historical movement

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