The idea of heteroglossia completely confused me. I stumbled through attempting to define and explain it on the road map for Bakhtin’s Discourse in the novel. The definitive idea that I really came down to was that it is a term used to describe the intricacy of linguistic roots. It explored the idea that social ties from all the linguistic influences that a national language have a strong and lasting impact forever(?). I looked it up on a few different scholarly websites and really didn’t find a whole lot on the term other than what I had already guessed.
It seems that in this
essay his use of the term heteroglossia was used to understand the complexity
of the novel. It seemed apparent that he believed novels to be the most
encompassing artistic expression of a nation or society. The reason this is in
his eyes is because authors of true novels must include heteroglossia, they
must include the intricacies of the language DNA (not his term, but seemed
fitting for the way he describes language.) In his eyes they don’t really have
a choice of including all of these influences if and only if they seek to
achieve a novel that has fewer hard truths in it and more social ties.
This is more abstract
and certainly isn’t implicit in the essay, but I also believed that
heteroglossia was closely tied to the concept that the novel itself has agency.
It seemed to me the way he defined the novel, “As a diversity of social speech
types and a diversity of individual voices, artistically organized.” Shows how
he felt about the novel. It showed that it was a corroboration of many agents
to create this entity that has agency, the novel.