You are on page 1of 13

Problems of Bakhtin's Theory about "Polyphony" Author(s): Qian Zhongwen Reviewed work(s): Source: New Literary History, Vol

. 28, No. 4, Philosophical Thoughts (Autumn, 1997), pp. 779790 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 24/08/2012 11:43
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


The Johns Hopkins University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to New Literary History.

object through which the author manages speech" (PD 28). to Bakhtin's relationship not "is the to issue his mind. eyes. The hero. a sort of "monologic fiction. a sort of "all-round dialogic fiction" (PD 76)." As for the Dos instead of falling into this category." namely. the breakup of the above-mentioned in this critic's would. between the hero and his author. nothing "homophony. 28: 779-790 ness" . "self-conscious toevskian is "the main artistic element in the structure of his heroes" (PD 121). but a free man who could place himself in an equal position with his creator.Problems of Bakhtin's Qian Theory Zhongwen about "Polyphony" The problem of "polyphony. In in short. has its originality. they were novels. being able to refute the latter's opinions and even revolt against him" (PD 28-29)." namely. has an independent and. Dostoevskian heroes they are are more fond of complicated self-analysis than and full those of appearing ideas. the heroes themselves surrounding reality" (PD 82). Thirdly. so in spite of their different characters having been woven there remained but together with each other." almost put forward by Bakhtin half a century ago in his study of Dostoevsky's now has novels. 1997. the hero's argument with both himself and the world has the same value as that of the author. meanwhile. That New Literary History. a quite influential become of with much narration prac theory tical significance. that is to say. ordinary novels."1 Secondly. who could embody the standpoint of human and beings' thinking on themselves comment and the relationship between them and the is to say. assumed that the fictions in the past were all under the complete control of their authors. In Bakhtin's own the Dostoevskian "hero has his opinion. Bakhtin's theory about "polyphony" works with this theory captures the major feature analyze Dostoevskian of the celebrated Russian novelist. "poly phonic fiction. Bakhtin profound change Thereupon. what Dostoevsky created was not a speechless slave (as created by Zeus). he ideological authenticity as a creator be who his own complete might regarded possessed the "polyphonic" phenomenon also relates to the ideology. To Surely. nature. In his novels Dostoevsky sought "to create the hero who could the hero embody a kind of special view of both the world and himself. relationship surely lead to a in structure the of fiction. As a matter of fact. The "polyphonic" deals first of all with the heroes in phenomenon fiction. "Just like Goethe's Prometheus.

the more. the final to conclusion." upon the Glinka." He asserted content of "polyphony. this of counterpoint. on Dostoevsky. As for Bakhtin. The terms "large-scale dialogue" and "micro-type put dialogue" means by which The ters' "large-scale relationship.780 explored NEW LITERARY HISTORY so that their thinking became reality and themselves. such as the antagonistic combination of different characters. nature relation all-embracing phenomenon. it has covered subjective take part a sort of in up social the depicted of characters. forward are none other than by Bakhtin his artistic task. "monologue initiated to become and reality. dialogues. Only in this way can his purpose be achieved through their their multifari of infiltration further mutual and thinking complicated ous relationships. strengthen objectivity. and not the "another person becomes fiction. he must manage their subjectivity all he must and consequently. Since the features of many contradictory ideas the the than were in this hero's body. major object of none other was in the Man Notes from Underground Underground such a self-explorer. integrated that that it was the dialogue strong "dialogic nature."4 however. The succinct point of this theory of Bakhtin's the fact that if a writer wants to make his literary work reflect reality in a to depict his characters with truthful and sincere way. artistic the author's description. in Dostoevsky's feature namely. composer." Bakhtin the fundamental formed regarded all as "monologic that only fiction prior to Dostoevsky's fiction. What same subject in their specific way. "In life."2 Though almost all there have researchers been set a a good low value number on his of papers language. mixed that possessed the value accepted as "one of the of a sort of ideology they were an embodiment itself: he may after all be of completeness representatives of the living generation. a move probably the new discovered the contrary. of the so character's forms far as his exposition an concerned."5 called the phenomenon Dostoevsky appreciated voices is "the different in fiction it expresses idea very much." the created had "monologic "dialogic genuine Dostoevsky the object of thinking." assuming In fiction." tends one who can think himself (PD 29). In such a case. it is a sort . structure the the important of famous the charac Russian it is once said. fulfilled Dostoevsky dialogue" that is. everything being in counterpoint. This neglecting live means "is. the to in fact. and permeates out lies in pointing 77).3 On its structure of language. For example. can be found "micro-type distinctive dialogues everywhere dialogue" feature. intercourse world In and in characters. took the in his novels. as well as manifestations of it seeps into all languages. Bakhtin by Tolstoy. yet. all relationships and valuable fields" (PD all the significant human life. touches "counterpoint. even of the more some of possessed form is monologue."6 This kind of phenom singing the enon. in multifarious For form instance.

First. soul the there or dialogue an began" artistic a (PD 77). the mouths the dialogues. At its cussed here?have been widely and applied by literary and art beginning. and at times they even had uttered of their heroes." "dialogue. All atmosphere. monologues: seventeenth European for instance. a vogue began of diary by picaresque During style and letter-style novels. but also . "polyphony" "polyphonic fiction has the nature of all-round dialogue" (PD 76). Before long." "good at reading out the arguing element from a voice. repetition converged into creating to produce a marvelous spectacle heart-stirring in procedures Bakhtin's feature of Dostoevsky's is penetrat heroes analysis of the psychological an can as and his elaboration be ing original idea in sagacious regarded theoretical studies. the latter had not only thrown heard. such as "polyph ony. one fiction gradually became more On the there hand. So. novels generally fiction like in the in the the sixteenth form work of and anonymous Little Lasaron were of the monologic type. that is others." call such These a phenomenon are well dialogues "antiphonal in tune dialogue" the with or "large-scale "retorting dia was fond of out the best in each other. while making containing dialogues: monologue both with himself and he still continued his dialogue monologue. of the for him. he was people's listening logues. emergence phenomenon. complicated. it is no wonder that his terms. theory of "polyphony. where conscious of of had to acquainted ness great open began. to novels were like Gil Bias and Tom which emerge began Jones. Dostoevsky's these dialogues using These fiction. originality. could be sounded out at any place and in all manifestations and understood human life. Though through content of speech was none other than what these heroes had seen and the period of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. centuries. the formation of "polyphonic is due to the fiction. For him. amidst dialogues. Other forms included making dialogue to say.PROBLEMS OF BAKHTIN'S THEORY 781 an inner that is to say. working those at the back and reacting to each other's innermost mentality. the events of their stories were all with nearly tinged "legendary" color. force." to draw a line of demarcation still needs be discussed further. the hero's dialogue each echoing the epilogue." as Bakhtin asserted." as well as "incompleteness"?which we have not dis accepted (AV309). on the other. Dostoevsky bringing to full of voices attention with great aspirations. in Bakhtin's the question of how to However. To his mind. we may answer. the contained in concert with both those in the front and other in a sly way. fiction the At that was written picaresque time. But. making every contradiction dialogue the in two persons" "the relationship (PD 70). I think this critics argument is made perhaps somewhat in terms of absolutes. influenced fiction. off gradually the events of adventure and happy encounter.

However. dramatic elements. what is more. For example. Take his Notes from the monologues that it is full of "multivocal" the Underground. they do not avoid the we we a if will surely discover bit further. the fusion of epic and lyric. novels were generally written in the third person. these of elements. for instance. was as scarce as footfalls in an empty valley (rarity of rarities). diary. the so-called "poly phonic" phenomenon it usually and. in novel Balzac. Dostoevsky's "polyphony" conventional story whose beginning in advance. the characteris highly tics of the "multivocal is inseparable after committing attacks Raskolnikov Napoleon successive part" displayed from the fact his crime. Once it by aestheticizing the unified system. such that it is a sort of "all-round as The Brothers Karamazov. were well combined with dialogues. In fact. his therefore. moreover. the emergence weakened of new the sealed and end are designed procedures did nature not of the by the writer collapse all its merits. arranged specially by could hear some sound of polyphony. narration Dickens. On the contrary. The were more often than not in and of these novels dialogues subject object their the whereas novel from which one writers. it continued came it became the principle the aestheticized into identity being was it all that this unit would become a narrations. Journey. if we investigate Dostoevsky's own creations. dialogized" the possess fiction. cannot Some of say. We the novel still unfolds phenomena. and Turgenev set up a complete system of Nevertheless. Serializing unifying all there therefore. go monologic that apart from its manifestations in structure. ill-fated heroes was in a existed in the few heroes of his fiction mainly the innermost world of these when happened tense state. ony" that he with introversion blazed new trails. enriched nineteenth-century to closer the of forms life. yet taken as a whole. such as Diderot's Rameau sNephew. element. and psycho a self-dissection into and logical unique identity. and a flourishing the eventually appeared. writing. It was by applying "polyph Dostoevsky fiction and strengthened. Rousseau's La Nouvelle Heloise and A Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Confessions. Besides. letters. In the Goethe's nineteenth century.782 changed to indulge in conveying fervor and NEW LITERARY HISTORY dissecting emotions. that is to say. the subjective analysis psychological of characters as well as the openness of fictional form. novels. we find fiction contained monologues that his polyphonic and. it and multifari the structure of fiction more complicated actually made ous in form. governing impossible new Tower of Babel and topple over in a single day. such as The Sorrows of Young Werther. behavior he his in that was and the image instead of becoming unable to became endure a "trem structure of a the moral upon finally . spectacle: of dialogues and monologues. character istics of an open structure. and so forth. regardless its story in monologic form. combination the dissolving of narration.

these artistic means strengthened the particular feature of his charac color of his hero's so far as the ters' subjectivity.PROBLEMS OF BAKHTIN'S THEORY 783 felt that this action was no different with others became estranged and bling than animal. the result tortuously reflected of the time and the deposit of historical conscious of fact." was of heroes' the innermost monologue. Therefore. these in accordance with as if these are a camera and making the close-up the movement of his hero's at will far and lens moving descriptions with the in the field of analyzing gaze. also a component of the method of narration in his part fiction. He sensed that to write in the first person it would. he to write it in the first person and with diary entries. Generally. and conduct in detail. in his notebook the principle he had Secondly. these novelists would sometimes make some com ments their heroes." When self-destruction. Raskolnikov his relationship the distance between him and his kinsmen grew farther and farther. full of being extremely and compromise. position Dostoevsky. right or left. struggles. Bakhtin would not this particular feature. their hearts precisely product their consciousness embittered and wavering. selves as far as possible rather than writing such a even would sometimes be All shorthand of description type. Meanwhile. In addition. intended however. Through as phenomena But. However. while mentioning . the multicol all of this. So far to of characters as we know. of course. The and arguments in the that is. his concerned. Later on. it is necessary the objective method of narration afterwards is applied by Dostoevsky different and Balzac. possess them when compared to look upon him as a "hero") failed in description there is no difference in ordinary fiction. The static touch thus occupied the leading sort their in narratives. Dostoevsky preferred on their behalf. by the time Dostoevsky was working on Crime and Punishment. monologue usually fiction is still composed of both monologues and dialogues. from that used by Turgenev the latter made it a habit to describe the environment. remained the medium. bring about a strong color of subjectivity and make more to grasp the dialectics for the author of his hero's possible a in innermost such it would be difficult for case. jumping. to However. subjective to his let heroes do the analysis them characters. As for this of is. and their whole mentality losing its antagonism balance. he gave up this plan. yet. description no doubt. place. ored ness.7 Of course. scenes it is describe by and no means a characters major in a one moving and he does He his manages utmost to way. on project and convey eyesight and mood near. time. probably the author to describe the personality in a broader of other characters to point out here that and more objective way. transformation. the speech and conduct of Lazumixin a matter (probably. between heroes and relationship the description of their mental and other states is crisis. the dialogues so-called "polyphony.

However. He Dostoevsky himself belonging once pointed is concerned. . Some beings people by way of carrying used to regard me out as a a thoroughgoing but in fact.784 adopted. . of human . that is to say. the writer should go deep into his his experiences in their various heart of hearts. keeps changing Some critics say that it can be done by putting these be reconciled? universal kindness and love. with an attempt to take to 'discover man special means." on the one hand. What is the novelist's view of man? Is "polyphony" the only channel through which this goal can be attained? concluded that "man" was both social and biological. what I want to depict is the man's whole heart of hearts" asserted that this passage should be apprehended (PD 100). context the it is obvious that the central idea Taking on in Bakhtin's is his emphasis explanation expressed "polyphony. contradictory. (2) In order to accomplish this new task. also so said."8 He but. by carrying 'thoroughgoing man's whole heart of hearts'". but it is partial viewpoint.' namely. that iswrong: I'm a realist in the highest sense."9 transformation. the 'realism beings. "it is not enough a to practice monologue-type realism . namely. instead of oversimplifying the complex nature his heroes. every man in civilized society is hard to get rid of. In Dostoevsky's "man changing is a kind incessantly. and the individualism view. Dostoevsky wrote. that can be his transformed. so. denied flatly that he was a "psychologist" (3) Dostoevsky (PD 100). Bakhtin original view. of organism Moreover. Thus. in the body of human namely. had a strong point. honors In his opinion. so at all. the forward the ideal embodying to human beings all over the world. "man belongs totally it is not to society. psychologist. both kindness and evil inherent in the body of originally exist in his body. and he is as deep as the sea". as a whole. .' in the it is necessary highest sense'". and belittles monologue. full that is. trying to understand forms. . love attributed Christian Dostoevsky's understanding of "man. out. Bakhtin to fulfill his new task from the following three aspects: (1) "He managed means out of 'to depict the realism. Man there during keeps is no lack of unexpectedness and illogical elements." a man's because it is through "polyphony" that the writer can perceive heart of hearts and make his creative method become "realism in the can be sense. instead of looking at him in a plain and shallow way. it was "polyphony" in discovering succeeded "man" in through "polyphony" that Dostoevsky human beings. Since man is originally born as an individual these claims and at the same time Can appear incessantly." No doubt this explanation of Bakhtin's highest accepted as an a that is to say. of man and the novelist his various took into realistic consideration . far "any as his man is complicated. "The principle NEW LITERARY HISTORY I'm now pursuing is to discover Man in the body realism. .

" rotation of life. "From a photo one can see a man's original as features. witness between the descrip tion of the heroes in The Idiot and Crime and Punishment. confused there is simply no difference! While this character. suddenly become that while studying the face of a man. attack he was are shown greatly clearly. Thus the various the novelist cracks As soon formed after their as Raskolnikov suffering committed from his a fatal crime. there's still half a bottle left. possessing Alexis Karamazov. The accomplished through novelist often depicted his characters' heart of hearts at the juncture their thought and their fate. pointing out that man it also had its weakness because the novelist the hand. a policeman standing in guard! What's this? Could it be tea? The beer hasn't yet been drunk. Dostoevsky had repeatedly portraying used such words and phrases as "unconsciously. How cold it is!"11This abrupt transition of conscious ness seems almost to be incoherent. his descriptions are always soul stirring. exaggerated function of physiological and even pathological in social life. I come to know." "the most pain ful thing is that it is not so much perception as consciousness or sense. Dostoevsky expressed sought depict complex nature of man and his "possibility of being "In the transformed. for example.PROBLEMS OF BAKHTIN ' S THEORY 785 could be "transformed". Nevertheless. to the application instead of confining himself of "polyphony. and mentally: so do all of them! How Iwish I could run downstairs it right now! What would be if there's someone there. dream. in the reality of life." "illusion. but. applied a shorthand in their psychological state: to display his heroes' mental confusion by means of applying intuition. itwas due to the fulfillment of this complicated task had discovered that Dostoevsky the "man" in human beings. confused "At the sight of the expression in his eyes. it is by no means a "polyphonic" description. forth. and hallucination. He urged affection. on the other desires. elements His argument was tinged with the abstract nature of the moral ideal." and so forth. As . the artist should find out the main there." "unintentionally. it is true to the of those remarkably illogical reflection of the consciousness who are in a psychologically state of mind. or. and moreover." "unwittingly. All of these descriptions his of greatly deepen exploration the characters' hearts. Nevertheless. when an immoral man seeks normal and natural a good one" (LL 447)."10 shadows and of so whereas Bismarck Dostoevsky's none other characters Myshkin. Actually. yet." "unexpectedly. ideals were in possible that Napoleon may novels. and that. As in to his creative the work. it is still quite blink. even though the expression was thoroughly thoughts expressed he may concealed." he numerous this task artistic other channels. than after the prince may all behave be accepted like a fool a mild the in another man." "intuitionally. At the time the consciousness of these heroes was being situated in the rotation and to express the sudden change reversal.

to all. former's. "fluidity. While time." which when advanced of transformed" by being "possibility in for the possibility of equal skill though different a famous is shown defi the fluidity said. Cervantes. cal in order to description own had their explore was as "man" excellent strong in human as the beings. to be no longer superficial turned though. the same idea was expressed or a good-for-nothing. Tolstoy compared Dostoevsky. or like a clever man or an idiot." and "crazy. While about Victor penetrate depth talking Hugo's La Dernier Jour d'un Condamn in "author's words" at the very beginning of this work of his novel A Gentle Creature. namely. presented the with allows argument. For instance.12 The story highlights didn't conclude in the activities occurring paper scraps his multifarious psychological not is it of before his execution. official world. "polyphony" that this novel depicted if we compare Dostoevsky with Tolstoy. Dostoevsky highly praised Hugo's was accomplished in which the psychological description through how a dead prisoner related in a dozen illusion. remains himself He the and forever. that. greatly admired the psychological and Goncharov. instead of resorting to applying "polyphony. In short. way similarly. They were the and latter's that equally psychologi both of them matched. when it came to making an argument. by applying day the innermost mentality of its hero. How in this way!"13 As a narrated in his novel Resurrection. both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky means it of following but the former sense. "cruel. out Dostoevsky speare. being ill tried merely used to insult behaved. nitely he behaves like a scoundrel or as an angel. Rabaigev in The to Idiot always did his best flatter and speak glibly in the presence of moneybags. had seen and heard a good many things there.786 for the secondary characters. or like a man of unusual strength a literary work were good it would be if matter of fact." by accomplished highest the latter dialectic of human soul?while the principle of "fluidity"?the artistic world is known . he this scoundrel put failing to obtain the love he was feverishly pursuing. obviously. yet is. and descriptions seemingly of Shake he himself Turgenev. In addition. character) (that clearly. Of course. but. yet. in the field of discovering had attained the "realism in the beings. the also hard himself. an end to his life unexpectedly and secretly. the novelist didn't NEW LITERARY HISTORY forget to discover "man" in them. respective points. a wily bird at the low strata of the this was mainly because Rabaigev. "In literary works. his speech or full of generalities. we must acknowledge Besides. But. tinged from time to time with a sad flavor. and many of his passages Tolstoy's are and have won of his heroes excellent the depicting psychology "man" from human universal praise." the landlord Svidrigailov same was on at at others will and. Tolstoy expression. that it was only his psychological that could description a man's the of soul. was it unavoidably." he to depict the truth of human nature.

saying. The reasons First." chapter now of whether "the heroes and their voice. equal position the author's argument and other heroes' voices which have value of completeness" (PD 29-30). on this question. no matter what the extent of the ideological freedom and . to such a degree the heroes' that they could exaggerate independence confront are as their follows: author and refuse to accept his restrictions. fails to possess objective reality. same goal by the reached they such a conclusion. Nevertheless. proceeded doesn't have a definite and clear plan in advance. with the the problem of polyphony. "polyphony" Finally. the problem we're going to discuss below is: in the relation the author and his hero.) In the footnotes (This was his comment written this edition of Bakhtin's Problems ofDostoevsky's Poetics. Lunacharsky's of the particular feature of "polyphony. if an author pays no attention all of these details. "Either when Dostoevsky approved or to out at the and he its started work when novel. we should not views are divergent In my opinion.PROBLEMS OF BAKHTIN'S THEORY 787 "transformation" into practice. what degree of independence ship between out that the hero's argument should the hero have? Bakhtin pointed "it ought to be situated in the should have "particular independence": in a particular with his and it should be combined author. to Similarly. have a relative freedom and independence" composition to judge from both the beginning and end of the (PZ>82)." Without Dostoevsky's main artistic a doubt. namely. it is difficult for him to exist independently. about the there independence is a certain of the rational heroes' nature ideological in Bakhtin's conscious ness and the relationship with their author. routes. we've form with the same really come into contact with a sort of 'polyphonic' phenomenon connected and woven free individuality. tries to force his own thought on his characters. method. Lunacharsky highly was finishing his this idea. If a hero fails to possess such relative independence. we do not achieved ruthlessly different his theory of it by putting man's dissecting psychology. But were they really "free men" created our by a Prometheus? Seemingly. most probably. he even put viduality." forward Generally statement speaking. heroes were all able to express their own multifarious ideas Dostoevsky's more freely and thoroughly than the characters in ordinary novels.15 Bakhtin quoted no to raised the passage. remark did not change Bakhtin's fundamental view book. the resistance of artistic logic. very beginning plot to unfold it might have been like this: He [it] gradually. Though having drawn mean to play down can yet the significance be regarded as of "polyphony. he would surely meet with their resistance."14 together with absolutely to the second in 1929. but objection wording "absolutely free indi and in the second of this book. or makes up a story without any understanding of the characters.

For His it was instance.. a their own objectivity consciousness their (namely. Meanwhile. by each and every one of namely. Dostoevsky wrote in his note working and will not blame book: the writer was "the one who knows everything It is thus obvious that Dostoevsky himself had a others wrongly. he arrived at the belief that for the sake of influence love one should not hesitate to endure any suffering and atone for one's crime. status were reduced artists of the to the level of ordinary should not be lowered they to have characters Dostoevsky rate to "genuine as that portrayed. independence the hero could is only be regarded as nothing but the mixture jointly created by Zeus and But at that is. there larger. . seen the and know everything. yet how can you say it is not the embodiment of the author's original intent? To be sure. it was precisely with this point of view that Dostoevsky expected social renewal. contrary It is thus clear that to overemphasize to the writer's original intention. side. position an independence put the subjective activity of the author? In such a case. then he realized that he had alienated arguing repeatedly with both himself and others and finally under the of Sonya's faith. heroes.788 of these independence author's intervention. at any not agree the that writers once same stated. the same time. then could it would give a bit of irony to his hero's the readers" be more intimate (149). but also can perceive much more than this. conception in Aesthetic and His Hero "Notes on the Author his early artistic "The author does not only see Activity. He literary naturally deeper. complacency . he would heroes. he is the result of the writer's artistic cognition. Prometheus. subjective possessed of then into what such value would relatively large objectivity). he has a value of his own. . the heroes' In my opinion. too few . Of course. Dostoevsky creation wider. accuracy photographic are and truthfulness Accuracy that have them alone. . would not that make the author's function become a rigid mirror? To said but this argument what the something needed. revolting impossible consider consciousness NEW LITERARY HISTORY for them to escape the changed hero the of Raskolnikov."17 In of above-mentioned the and clear definite phenomena.. Crime and Punishment. it was the natural result of the logical development of the hero's character. is none other In handling than the one the who behavior can While know do everything take a in an skeptical all-around attitude way. but himself needed and are would "is not absolutely never agree. and If the author naivety. he is independent. on Crime and Punishment."16 Besides. and therefore. toward though this some contemporary writers argument. hero's he and is subject and action. things his characters. if the heroes could be independent of their author by having Second." Bakhtin once wrote definitively. to restrictions the writer of his author. was inces the crime: he felt that justice was on his santly soon after he committed himself from the people.

" Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy language spoke bluntly short of characteristics. Bakhtin. Stepanov in Grossman. hereafter Poetics. in Grossman. quoted "Dostoevsky: Creation. 1988). 1964). cited in text as LL. p. (Beijing. ch. 342. On Dostoevsky's Realism (Moscow. Quoted 1981). 50. 3 About in Dostoevsky's the characters' that it fell works. said. 5 Mikhail in Leonid A Great Artist. for Among Dostoevsky's them. "Dostoevsky: A Great Artist. Bakhtin a certain the sense. By Moreover. 1. then there opinions were were many always our explanations varied. component part study literary phenomena. emphasized Dostoevsky's investigating literary works. ed. "the particular He pointed nature out that of the artistic the general form" in researchers took no notice nature merely of this point. As a matter of fact. method by which works Bakhtin made is. toevsky. but often tried to seek after this particular in the works' themes. 169. no. and what's more whatever but the author's See affected. hereafter text as AV. George Fredrinjel. Heroes "all speak with the author's both unnatural and language. of course. than Bakhtin's methodology. important content were make the it itself lose lustre. Bakhtin. It was Chinese Academy of Social Sciences notes 1 M. 83:422. Nikloa (Moscow. "Instead of giving expression to should first of all urge people the artistic form correctly understood none look for and discover the content" It that this is (PD 80). hereafter 9 ." p. or a single image taken from the in terms of its implication for life. See Fyodor Dostoevsky. there existing is no malpractice mistaking in our what approach his to argument literary aimed research. only when he the particular nature of "polyphony" did Bakhtin later overemphasized one to to attend proceed thing and lose sight of others. tr. Underground. p. Leonid Grossman in his On also once Dostoevsky's 6 Quoted studied 7 8 this issue. Lija Rozinblum. they utter is nothing thinking. inevitably to the already found content. own of the title in his novel Notes from the 2 See Fyodor Dostoevsky's explanation tr. 1971)." Glinka. 1959). Kanstantin Lomunov (Moscow. 417. p. ed. since novel and evaluated new the the most by Dos things discovered thing. On Art and Literature. 10 The Diary of Dostoevsky's Creation (Moscow. 342. 311. 1958). In this way. the creation. for. Grossman. 2:105. Yi Xin in World Literature. a theoretical worth contribution He in analyzing said that his Dostoevsky's starting point attention. 1982). 318. Bai Chunren and Gu Yaling (Beijing. 4 M. The Legacy of Literature (Moscow. 4. M. cited in 1979). M. appears to my other His idea should become. On Dostoevsky's Creation. The Aesthetics of Verbal Creation (Moscow. of the of In the overall mind. Problems of Dostoevsky's cited in text as PD.PROBLEMS OF BAKHTIN'S THEORY 789 as well for the the things most difficult he has seen and known to understand" characters (AV 14). namely. p. p. would lost.

Stipanov (Beijing. B. p. hereafter (Moscow. Ivan Anisimov (Moscow. 170.790 NEW LITERARY HISTORY tr. On Dostoevsky's Realism. 144. tr. Quoted . this book was first printed Writers on Literary Creation. ed. itwas entitled Problems ofDostoevsky's Creation. Fyodor Dostoevsky. in Fredrinjel. A Gentle Creature. (Shanghai. Dostoevsky. 2:598. 1:159. 3:136. ed. 1955). Yu Ling Crime and Punishment. Opulskaja 14 See Collection of Essays by Lunacharsky. Nikola 1982). 11 Fyodor 12 15 When 16 cited 17 Russian in 1929. 486. ed. p. 1979). 1955). in text. in Collection ofNovels byDostoevsky. Tolstoy on Literature. Ivanova and L. p. 13 (Moscow. ed. Cheng Shi. Boris Meilach 1955).