Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dostoevsky not so Polyphonic After All?

The [Soviet] political situation is one reason why Bakhtin's famous Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, published under Stalin, had to seriously downplay FMD's ideological involvement with his own characters. A lot of Bakhtin's praise for Dostoevsky's "polyphonic" characterizations, and for the "dialogic imagination" that supposedly allowed him to refrain from injecting his own values into his novels, is the natural result of a Soviet critic's trying to discuss an author whose "reactionary" views the State wanted forgotten.
-David Foster Wallace, reviewing Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky in Consider the Lobster

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