Sunday, July 08, 2007

the novel as cannibal

From a review of a book on Bakhtin:
...the novel, that mongrelised genre which--unlike epic, pastoral or tragedy--is entirely without rules, and which in Bakhtin's eyes is less a definable form than a deconstructive force. The novel lives purely in its dialogic modes, cannibalising and parodying them. It is a maverick anti-genre, deviantand non-canonical, a secular scripture which shows up all discourse as partial and provisional.
I once audited a course in the theory of the novel--Bakhtin was on the reading list, and I don't remember anything as interesting as this. Obviously, I needed Terry Eagleton (the reviewer) to explain it to me.
In the excavation of my office, I have reached the layer wherein my unfinished novel (the one I abandoned to write the ghost novel) lies, dismembered, its skeleton flattened by the weight of years and notebooks. Shall I brush the accumulated dust away and retrieve it from its burial place? Maybe.


Blogger Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

Great let us all know how you get on with it.

Best wishes,


7/08/2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger erieblue said...

I think Bahktin wishes the novel was an outlaw. But no such thing.

7/09/2007 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Sue (coffeepot) said...

Dead outlaws tell no tales.

Your writing is very interesting. I hope it is revived.

8/26/2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Jade Park said...

novel as anti-genre....


interesting--because i do find i have to throw a lot of "rules" out the door when i'm writing my novel, versus writing my short stories.

10/13/2007 8:05 PM  

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