Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Conclusion

Summary of Conclusion

Bakhtin summarizes his point that Dostoevsky is brilliant and the polyphonic novel provides important insights. It is an example of the artistic consciousness catching up to the scientific consciousness of complexity a la Einstein, etc.

In this book we have sought to reveal the uniqueness of Dostoevsky as an artist, an artist who brought with him new forms of artistic visualization and was therefore able to open up and glimpse new sides of the human being and his life. Our attention has been concentrated on that new artistic position which permitted him to broaden the horizon of artistic visualization, which permitted him to look at the human being from a different artistic angle of vision. (270)

 Polyphonic thinking could expand beyond the novel:

This mode of thinking makes available those sides of a human being, and above all the thinking human consciousness and the dialogic sphere of its existence, which are not subject to artistic assimilation from monologic positions

 The polyphonic novel will not replace the monologic one, but it will provide greater insight and an ability to live in the more complex world we find ourselves in. There is an argument similar to that made by Norbert Weiner (who I am also reading), that Twentieth Century scientific understandings of complexity have made it clearer that we don’t need to cling to solid and monologic categories and modes of thinking; with polyphony, the artistic consciousness is catching up to the scientific:

The scientific consciousness of contemporary man has learned to orient itself among the complex circumstances of "the probability of the universe"; it is not confused by any "indefinite quantities" but knows how to calculate them and take them into account. This scientific consciousness has long since grown accustomed to the Einsteinian world with its multiplicity of systems of measurement, etc.

… We must renounce our monologic habits so that we might come to feel at home in the new artistic sphere which Dostoevsky discovered, so that we might orient ourselves in that incomparably more complex artistic model of the world which he created. (272)



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