Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sur les premiers chapitres d’Esthétique et théorie du roman (Bakhtine et deconstruction)


Bakhtine signale que les objets de création culturelle*** ont une complexité et une plénitude qui troublent la possibilité de formation d’une science sur eux. Ce que cette complexité et cette plénitude demandent c’est une esthétique sistématique et générale. 
On peut discuter à quel point cela implique vraiment une critique du formalisme russe et des perspectives qui y sont associeés. (La notion de fonction poétique de Jakobson semble être plus esthétique que scientifique, et dans ce sens elle est valable.) 
Pensé en relation avec le domaine éthique et le domaine de la connaissance, le domaine esthétique est le seul qui pourrait donner un sens d’unité (et d’autonomie) à la culture (et à la nature). C’est le domaine du téléologique. Il n’est pas matériel. La position de Bakhtine semble être kantienne. 
Du point de vue de la déconstruction, cette unité téléologique est peut-être beaucoup plus problématique (dans ce qui concerne la subjectivité et surtout la voix), mais aussi nécessairement liée au domaine de ce qui a été traditionnellement appelé esthétique.**** Et tout le reste en dépend. 
***Dans quelle mesure on peut parler de création seulement culturelle? Pour Bakhtine, le rythme est « architectonique », c’est-a-dire, il est esthétique et beaucoup plus que un matériau organisé. Est-ce qu’on peut réduire le rythme a une chose culturelle et humaine? En outre et malgré sa polémique avec le symbolisme, Bakhtine a aussi valorisé « la parole religieuse (mythologique, mystique, magique) » (je cite le texte dans la traduction de Daria Olivier, p. 169).
****Et aussi métaphorique dans un sens qui ne peut jamais être réduit au littéral et encore moins à quelque projection du « corporel » sur « l’abstrait ».
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Haroldo de Campos, sur Bakhtine et Propp:
"Só o olhar superficial enxerga uma oposição irredutível entre Propp e Bakhtin. Ambos tratam de estabelecer uma tipologia da narrativa; o primeiro, com base em critérios predominantemente sintagmáticos; o segundo, com apoio na distinção paradigmática 'monológico' vs. 'polifônico'..." (Deus e o Diabo no Fausto de Goethe, p. 164).
"Propp acentua os mesmos aspectos valorizados por Bakhtin no fenômeno do 'riso ritual', mostrando como, no folclore, 'o riso é um meio mágico apto a criar vida, mágico enquanto oposto ao racional'; esta 'faculdade de despertar vida' é interpretada como 'faculdade de suscitar vida vegetal'..." (Deus e o Diabo no Fausto de Goethe, p. 106).

Une critique démasquante du livre Bakhtine démasqué, pour Sandra Nossik:
"As traduções utilizadas (somente uma tradução para cada texto no original russo), diretamente comparadas entre si, divergem pelos seus autores, pelas suas datas, e às vezes pelo seu idioma de chegada (francês, italiano, inglês). A imprecisão terminológica e conceitual que poderia resultar dessas fontes secundárias heterogêneas é tanto mais problemática considerando-se que o objetivo anunciado dos autores é trazer à luz as divergências 'estilísticas' entre os textos de Bakhtin, Voloshinov e Medvedev, divergências 'decorrentes de sua organização argumentativa global, tanto quanto de sua organização sintática e macrossintática'" (Bakhtiniana, vol. 9, Apr/Jul 2014); 

See also:
- défi du non-circoncis;
- Cristovão Tezza haunted by Barthes;
- Concretos &/ou Brazilian Inteligentsia;
- Eduardo Viveiros de Castro: Brazilian Perspectivism?
- Augusto Meyer and Machado de Assis;
- O Primo Basílio de Eça de Queirós;
- A Stragegy for Writting;
And also:
- Pier Paolo Pasolini & Deconstruction;
- Favorite quotes from Detlev Claussen's Theodor W. Adorno;
- Umberto Eco about Nietzsche (& deconstruction);
- Federico Fellini's Satyricon;
Podem Ficar com a Realidade;
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Other excerpts: 
"At the heart of the tragic catastrophe in Dostoevsky's work there always lies the solipsistic separation of a character's consciousness from the whole, his incarceration in his own private world. Thus the affirmation of someone else's consciousness—as an autonomous subject and not as an object—is the ethico-religious postulate determining the content of the novel (the catastrophe of a disunited consciousness)" (Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Caryl Emerson translation, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1984, p. 10);
"... the image of many unmerged personalities joined together in the unity of some spiritual event, was fully realized for the first time in his novels. This astonishing internal independence of Dostoevsky's characters, which Askoldov correctly notes, is achieved by specific artistic means. It is above all due to the freedom and independence characters possess, in the very structure of the novel, vis-a-vis the author—or, more accurately, their freedom vis-a-vis the usual externalizing and finalizing authorial definitions. This does not mean, of course, that a character simply falls out of the author's design. No, this independence and freedom of a character is precisely what is incorporated into the author's design" (p. 13);
"A novel such as Bouvard et Pecuchet, for example, unites material of the most heterogeneous content, but this heterogeneity does not function in the structure of the novel itself and cannot so function in any well-defined way—because it is subordinated to the unity of a personal style and tone permeating it through and through, the unity of a single world and a single consciousness" (p. 15); 
"Dostoevsky's novel is a whole formed by the interaction of several consciousnesses, none of which entirely becomes an object for the other; this interaction provides no support for the viewer who would objectify an entire event according to some ordinary monologic category (thematically, lyrically or cognitively)—and this consequently makes the viewer also a participant" (p. 18);
"Dostoevsky does not for a single moment permit us to lose ourselves in joyous recognition of that reality [of pragmatic plot considerations] (as Flaubert does, or Leo Tolstoy); instead he frightens us, and this is precisely because he snatches and rips everything out of the normal and predictable chain of the real..." (p. 20);
"Dostoevsky's world is profoundly pluralistic. If we were to seek an image toward which this whole world gravitates, an image in the spirit of Dostoevsky's own worldview, then it would be the church as a communion of unmerged souls, where sinners and righteous men come together; or perhaps it would be the image of Dante's world, where multi-leveledness is extended into eternity, where there are the penitent and the unrepentant, the damned and the saved. Such an image would be in the style of Dostoevsky himself, or, more precisely, in the style of his ideology, while the image of a unified spirit is deeply alien to him" (p. 26-27);
"The objective complexity, contradictoriness and multi-voicedness of Dostoevsky's epoch, the position of the déclassé intellectual and the social wanderer, his deep biographical and inner participation in the objective multi-leveledness of life and finally his gift for seeing the world in terms of interaction and coexistence—all this prepared the soil in which Dostoevsky's polyphonic novel was to grow" (p. 30-31);
"One may also speak of elements of polyphony in Balzac's work—but only of elements. Balzac belongs to the same line of development in the European novel as Dostoevsky, and is one of his direct and most immediate predecessors" (p. 34); 
"... almost all of Dostoevsky's novels have a conventionally literary, conventionally monologic ending (especially characteristic in this respect is Crime and Punishment). In essence only The Brothers Karamazov has a completely polyphonic ending, but precisely for that reason, from the ordinary (that is, the monologic) point of view, the novel remained uncompleted" (p. 39-40);
"That which was presented in Gogol's field of vision as an aggregate of objective features, coalescing in a firm socio-characterological profile of the hero, is introduced by Dostoevsky into the field of vision of the hero himself and there becomes the object of his agonizing self-awareness; even the very physical appearance of the 'poor clerk,' described by Gogol, Dostoevsky forces his hero to contemplate in the mirror" (p. 48);
"Dostoevsky sought a hero who would be occupied primarily with the task of becoming conscious, the sort of hero whose life would be concentrated on the pure function of gaining consciousness of himself and the world. And at this point in his work there begin to appear the 'dreamer' and the 'underground man' (p. 50);
"The idea helps self-consciousness assert its sovereignty in Dostoevsky's artistic world, and helps it triumph over all fixed, stable, neutral images. But on the other hand, the idea itself can preserve its power to mean, its full integrity as an idea, only when self-consciousness is the dominant in the artistic representation of the hero" (p. 79);
"It is quite possible to imagine and postulate a unified truth that requires a plurality of consciousnesses, one that cannot in principle be fitted into the bounds of a single consciousness, one that is, so to speak, by its very nature full of event potential and is born at a point of contact among various consciousnesses. The monologic way of perceiving cognition and truth is only one of the possible ways. It arises only where consciousness is placed above existence, and where the unity of existence is transformed into the unity of consciousness" (p. 81);
"Dostoevsky was capable of representing someone else's idea, preserving its full capacity to signify as an idea, while at the same time also preserving a distance, neither confirming the idea nor merging it with his own expressed ideology. The idea, in his work, becomes the subject of artistic representation, and Dostoevsky himself became a great artist of the idea" (p. 85);
"Raskolnikov's idea comes into contact with various manifestations of life throughout the entire novel; it is tested, verified, confirmed or repudiated by them... Let us again recall Ivan Karamazov's idea that 'everything is permitted' if there is no immortality for the soul. What an intense dialogic life that idea leads throughout the whole of The Brothers Karamazov, what heterogeneous voices relay it along, into what unexpected dialogic contacts it enters! On both of these ideas (Raskolnikov's and Ivan Karamazov's) the reflections of other ideas fall, similar to what happens in painting when a distinct tone, thanks to the reflections of surrounding tones loses its abstract purity, and only then begins to live an authentic 'painterly' life" (p. 90);
"[According to Grossman] the adventure world [of adventure, boulevard novel] gave expression to a 'primordial trait' of Dostoevsky's art: 'the impulse to introduce the extraordinary into the very thick of the commonplace, to fuse into one, according to Romantic principles, the sublime with the grotesque, and by an imperceptible process of conversion to push images and phenomena of everyday reality to the limits of the fantastic" (p. 103);
"In Dostoevsky, the adventure plot is combined with the posing of profound and acute problems; and it is, in addition, placed wholly at the service of the idea. It places a person in extraordinary positions that expose and provoke him, it connects him and makes him collide with other people under unusual and unexpected conditions precisely for the purpose of testing the idea and the man of the idea, that is, for testing the 'man in man.' And this permits the adventure story to be combined with other genres that are, it would seem, quite foreign to it, such as the confession and the saint's Life" (p. 105);
"The menippea is characterized by an extraordinary freedom of plot and philosophical invention. The fact that the leading heroes of the menippea are historical and legendary figures (Diogenes, Menippus and others) presents no obstacle. Indeed, in all of world literature we could not find a genre more free than the menippea in its invention and use of the fantastic... the fantastic here serves not for the positive embodiment of truth, but as a mode for searching after truth, provoking it, and, most important, testing it. To this end the heroes of Menippean satire ascend into heaven, descend into the nether world, wander through unknown and fantastic lands, are placed in extraordinary life situations" (p. 114).
"In the menippea there appears for the first time what might be called moral-psychological experimentation: a representation of the unusual, abnormal moral and psychic states of man—insanity of all sorts (the theme of the maniac), split personality, unrestrained daydreaming, unusual dreams, passions bordering on madness, suicides, and so forth" (p. 116); 
"Very characteristic for the menippea are scandal scenes, eccentric behavior, inappropriate speeches and performances, that is, all sorts of violations of the generally accepted and customary course of events and the established norms of behavior and etiquette, including manners of speech" (p. 117);
"Thus could be born in the bosom of parody one of the greatest and at the same time most carnivalistic novels of world literature: Cervantes' Don Quixote. Here is how Dostoevsky assessed that novel: 'There is nothing in the world more profound and powerful than this work. It is the ultimate and greatest word yet uttered by human thought, it is the most bitter irony that a man could express, and if the world should end and people were asked there, somewhere, 'Well, did you understand your life on earth and what conclusions have you drawn from it?' a person could silently point to Don Quixote: 'Here is my conclusion about life, can you judge me for it?''" (p. 128);
"A combination of carnivalization with a sentimental perception of life was found by Dostoevsky in Sterne and Dickens" (p. 156);
"One basic source of carnivalization for literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the writers of the Renaissance—above all Boccaccio, Rabelais, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Grimmelshausen" (p. 157);
"... this element of literary conventionality, and the various forms used to expose it, always served to intensify greatly the direct and autonomous signifying power of the hero and the independence of the hero's position. In this sense literary conventionality, in Dostoevsky's overall plan, not only did not reduce the signifying- and idea-content of his novels, but on the contrary could only increase it (as was also the case, incidentally, with Jean Paul and even with Sterne) (p. 226-27);
"Another type of free menippea, with a fantastic and fairy-tale element, was represented in the work of Hoffmann, who already exercised a significant influence on the early Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky's attention was also attracted by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, close in essence to the menippea. In his prefatory note 'Three Tales of Edgar Poe, Dostoevsky quite correctly noted the characteristics of that writer, so similar to his own: 'He almost always takes the most extraordinary reality, places his hero in the most extraordinary external or psychological position, and with what power of penetration, with what stunning accuracy does he tell the story of the state of that person's soul!'" (p. 243);
"'The depths of the human soul,' or what the idealist-Romantics meant by 'spirit' in contrast to soul, become in Dostoevsky's work the subject of objectively realistic, sober, prosaic depiction... Dostoevsky is deeply and intimately connected with European Romanticism, but that which the Romantic approached from within, in categories of his own "I" by which he was obsessed, Dostoevsky approached from without—in such a way, however, that this objective approach did not reduce by one iota the spiritual problematics of Romanticism, nor transform it into psychology (p. 277/Three fragments from the 1929 edition)
"Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus as an indirect confirmation of my idea. Dostoevsky's influence. Conversation with the devil. The narrator-chronicler and the main hero. The complex authorial position (cf. Mann's letters). Retellings (verbal transpositions) of musical works: in Netochka Nezvanova, but especially in the retelling of Trishatov's opera1 (here there is a literal coincidence of texts about the devil's voice); finally, retellings of Ivan Karamazov's poems. The hero-author. The main thing: the problem of polyphony" (p. 284/"Towards a reworking of the Dostoewsky book");
"Dostoevsky made spirit, that is, the ultimate semantic position of the personality, the object of aesthetic contemplation, he was able to see spirit in a way in which previously only the body and soul of man could be seen. He moved aesthetic visualization into the depths, into deep new strata, but not into the depths of the unconscious; rather, into the depths of the heights of consciousness. The depths of consciousness are simultaneously its peaks (p. 288/"Towards a reworking of the Dostoewsky book");

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