Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogic Nature of Consciousness

(My first post way back on 1/13/04)

Monologism at its extreme denies the existence outside itself of another consciousness with equal rights and equal responsibilities, another I with equal rights (thou). With a monologic approach…another person remains wholly and merely an object of consciousness, and not another consciousness. No response is expected from it that could change everything in the world of my consciousness. Monologue is finalized and deaf to the other's response, does not expect it and does not acknowledge in it any decisive force. Monologue manages without the other, and therefore to some degree materializes all reality. Monologue pretends to be the ultimate word. It closes down the represented world and represented persons. (Bakhtin: 292-93)

The dialogic nature of consciousness. The dialogic nature of human life itself. The single adequate form for verbally expressing authentic human life is the open- ended dialogue. Life by its very nature is dialogic. To live means to participate in dialogue: to ask questions, to heed, to respond, to agree, and so forth. In this dialogue a person participates wholly and throughout his whole life: with his eyes, lips, hands, soul, spirit, with his whole body and deeds. He invests his entire self in discourse, and this discourse enters into the dialogic fabric of human life, into the world symposium. (Bakhtin: 293)

Bakhtin, Mikhail M. Problems of Dostoyesky’s Poetics. ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota P, 1984.
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This quote by the great Russian writer/critic Mikhail Bakhtin inspires me to listen to 'other' discourses in order to re-view my understanding of the world. I've started this blog as an attempt to map out what I am hearing/reading/seeing in an open-ended re-imagining of the world. Hopefully it won't remain a monlogue for long...

4 comments:

memsamechnun said...

whaddya mean "another" consciousness? my mom cleans the room and the waitress brings water. i can read the menu. and if i work hard my father the corporation pays me. if saddam hussein had been an object of consciousness that would have been no problem. we could have talked him away like the french. but no, we had to invade. life is not about conversation. it is about survival of the fittest. think what you like and say what you like, but if you can't cut it, you won't make it. and you can't just talk and ask questions all day. nothing get done and there's no reason you should get paid for that. liberals used to be all fuzzy pretending to feel other people's pain. now you can't even understand them anymore.

Thivai Abhor said...

I love your humor Mason!

memsamechnun said...

whaddya mean my humour?
are you trying to go medieval on my splenitc american disposition?
i'm not stupid y'know...

vix said...

check out the blog of vixenblixen and Watch out for others. You may like it Abhor