aesthetics, Bakhtin, chronotope, dialogic imagination, event, genre, literary theory, novel, other, space, time, Todorov

Bakhtin’s Chronotopic Events: Notes on Novelistic Space-Time

Bakhtin, Mikhail. Form of Time and Chronotope in the Novel.” The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Austin: UTP, 1981. 84-258.

I apologize ahead of time for the informality of this post, but “Form of Time and Chronotope in the Novel” is an incredible piece of theory, and it’s a shame that it’s size will prevent many readers from engaging with it fully. Thus the need for some hardcore notes.

Bakhtin’s chronotope is all about the relations and implications of space-time. For Bakhtin, the chronotope “defines genre and generic distinctions,” which may explain his approach throughout the essay as well as Todorov’s own interest in Bakhtin (84-85). If we can think Bakhtin with Bergson, the chronotope can be considered a material assemblage of images with a duration that contracts them into a volume. Analyzing the various forms of chronotope leads to producing a problematics of narrative types.

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