By R. Bracht Branham
Mikhail Bakhtin's severe and theoretical experiments have encouraged unique paintings within the humanities and social sciences, yet Bakhtin and the Classics is the 1st ebook to target the connection among Bakhtin and classical stories, the self-discipline during which Bakhtin himself was once proficient. sincerely demonstrating the basic significance of classical literature in his paintings, Bakhtin and the Classics expands our knowing of either Bakhtin's inspiration and the literary and cultural historical past of antiquity.
The authors, eminent classicists and distinct critics of Bakhtin, positioned Bakhtin into discussion with the classics--and classicists into discussion with Bakhtin. every one essay bargains a serious account of a major element of Bakhtin's concept and examines the worth of his procedure within the context of literary or cultural heritage. starting with an outline of Bakhtin's idea of carnival laughter, maybe his critical severe thought, the amount explores Bakhtin's idea and writing relating to Homer's epic verse. Catullus's lyric poetry, historic Roman novels, and Greek philosophy from Aristotle's idea of narrative to the paintings of Antiphon the Sophist. the implications are of curiosity and value to Bakhtinians, theorists, and classicists.
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In this essay, I will ask what it means to see and t o feel life in a carnival way. I will also point out several paradoxes in Bakhtin's attitude toward the comic, suggest how contemporary genre theorists and philosophers of laughter might provide a context for Bakhtin's sacralized carnival idea, and wonder out loud whether such a spread of sensitivities and concerns can ever be reduced to an ethics. Carnival: A Defense It has seemed to many that the dynamics of carnival contradict the responsible and individualizing impulses of dialogue.
How is comedy stratified, and what sort of survival is promoted at each level? In brief, their argument is this. The realm of infernal com edy is populated with rogues, tricksters, deceivers, cynical minds in tough, vigorous bodies. Wickedness is omnipresent and naturally multiplies. Since there is so much evil around, it cannot be defeated by frontal attack, which would be suicidal,- it can only be outwitted. " Only by deceiving the deceivers and by delaying the final word can we avoid abandoning, for all time, all hope.
It works in bursts. 9 Thus laughter is a wonderful human resource. "10 O f the three basic theories about why we laugh— because we feel superior (the view of Plato and Aristotle), because we are struck by an incongruity (the view of Kant, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Bergson), and because we seek relief (Freuds psychophysiological explanations)11 — Bakhtin would have endorsed the second and sympathized, probably, with the third. Where he departs from these classic theorists and contributes an intonation of his own is in his emphasis on the sanity, goodness, and normalcy of a self that is split and "alienated" by laughter.
Bakhtin and the classics by R. Bracht Branham