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Bakhtin’s Dialogism In The Big Sleep

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  1. Introduction
  2. This dialogic structuring of language
  3. Bakhtin's theories about literature
  4. The base unit of Bakhtin's structure of language
  5. The dialogic concept
  6. The author Dashiell Hammett
    1. This desire to be one's own boss
    2. The world that Marlowe inhabits
  7. The language in The Big Sleep
  8. Marlowe's use of the term porte cochere
  9. Applying Bakhtinian principles to novels
  10. Conclusion
  11. Works cited

Mikhail Bakhtin is a philosopher and theorist who defies easy categorization. He has been associated with Marxist Literary critics, Russian Formalists and structuralists. While he has elements in common with all three, he also differs greatly from them in fundamental ways. His works and theories have become almost a category unto themselves, and their influence stretch across many disciplines and subjects. His most influential ideas in the area of literature concern the novel.
Bakhtin reconceived the way the novel is analyzed. Rejecting traditional stylistics based on poetry, he conceived the novel as the intersection of various strata within a language. The novel, according to Bakhtin, best represented how language in society actually worked; meaning is relative, provisional and situational, individual speech is influenced by what has been said before and what will come after.

[...] This is in direct opposition to the formalist approach, which attempts to turn a text into an object without context which is then studied in a quasi-scientific manner. Another important point to be made here concerns Bakhtin's concept of the answer-word. word in living conversation is directly, blatantly, oriented toward a future answer-word: it provokes an answer, anticipates it and structures itself in the answer's direction? (280). This places a great deal of emphasis, obviously, on the anticipated audience. It also further reveals the importance of society in Bakhtin's schema. [...]


[...] It does not appear to work very well with a novel such as The Big Sleep, one in which the first-person point of view is used, one character takes center stage, and the novelist's own voice is very much present within the work. Works Cited Carpenter, John. Untitled review of Mikhail Bakhtin by Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist. Magill's Literary Annual EBSCOHOST John Vaughan Library Tahlequah, OK Oct 2007. http://web.ebscohost.com.jvlapps.nsuok.edu Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Edition. [...]


[...] A move to Odessa, a port on the Black Sea, only reinforced Bakhtin's growing appreciation for cultural polyphony in society (Rudowski 2). He enrolled at Petrograd University in 1914. He also contracted osteomyelitis, an inflammation of the bone marrow, which kept him out of the military and eventually qualified him for a medical pension. During the 1920s and 30s he lived in various cities and participated in intellectual groups, most notably the Russian Formalists. Several works of members of this group may or may not have actually been written in whole or in part by Bakhtin (Rudowski 2). [...]

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