October 3, 2012

Heteroglossia, Blog Post 10/3

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. 

1 comment:

noles1128 said...


I can see where Bakhtin's article would be confusing for you. Being the fact that it was extremely wordy, didn't help the fact that Heteroglossia was already an invasive term to trace. Your description of language and comparing it to DNA, makes it easier to understand Bakhtin's point. His game changing theory was to focus more on genre and all of its qualities instead of style. This makes me think about how irritated I get when my friends force to see a movie I have no idea what it is about. Genre's allow the audience to see certain movies and have certain expectations when we see them. Professional Discourse allows you to disrupt each others expectations.

Stating that all novels are heteroglossia, already doesn't help us identifying heteroglossia. Some of Bakhtin's article is still unclear to me but after our class discussion more of it made sense.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.