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.

4 Comments:

Blogger Annie Wicking and Loman Austen said...

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

Best wishes,

Annie

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....

hrmmmm....!

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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