Dead text or living consciousnesses?
Bakhtinian poetics in the Francophone African context
Mikhail Bakhtin's theorization of language as inherently "dialogic" or oriented in interactive engagement with other languages has revolutionized ways of thinking of pragmatic language use, drawing crucial attention to the dynamic and subtle processes that go into the making of speech acts. In the realm of artistic expression in the novel, this dialogic orientation of language, following Bakhtin, translates as the animation of the literary corpus by linguistic consciousnesses that listen to and respond to one another. As discourse in the novel, seemingly made by the narrator/character, is constantly subject to contestation and modification by other voices, the text takes on a "living" quality as opposed to a "dead" text that is unresponsive to other voices. The present article hopes to demonstrate this novelistic contribution of Mikhail Bakhtin by a discourse analysis of Ahmadou Kourouma's The Suns of Independence, wherein a lively forum of embodied and unembodied consciousnesses are brought to bear, defying interpretation by objective theories of language.
Adhikari, F. (2018)., Dead text or living consciousnesses?: Bakhtinian poetics in the Francophone African context, in L. Bandlamudi & E. V. Ramakrishnan (eds.), Bakhtinian explorations of Indian culture, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 195-212.
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