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Reviews271 novel, and in extenso the entire process of the novelization of literature, focuses on hic et nunc with all the existential and ideological consequences thereof. Second: the novel reflects better than any other genre life's actuality as it is rendered by heteroglossia, i.e., a coexistence of "languages" within a given national language. Historically, the novel emerged and matured precisely when intense activization and internal heteroglossia was at its peak. Third: time and space, or chronotope, since the classical Greeks has had an intrinsic generic significance as well as a constitutive effect upon the artistic representation ofman. Beginning with the Greek romances of Heliodorus, Xenophon of Ephesus, Roman adventure novels of Apuleius and Petronius, the Chivalric romances, Rabelais's celebrated Gargantua and Pantagruel, through to the nineteenth-century novels, chronotopes have been affected by specific epistemologies, authorial intentions, and compositional strategems of their times. As a result, novels contain disparate chronotopic systems and arrangements which in turn generate different meanings and values. Hence, Bakhtin, essentially a Kantian, differed "from Kant in taking [diese forms of cognition] not as 'transcendental' but as forms of the most immediate reality" (p. 85). Fourth: the study of stylistics must be complemented by a simultaneous philosophical and sociological study of the work's semantic components. The aim of diese studies, in a narrow sense, is the apprehension of die work's unity, and in a larger sense of die unity of language and truth. Such a unity is to be sought in the socio-ideological stratification and die dialogized heteroglossia tíiat mark every concrete utterance of a speaking subject. The theoretical relevance of diese four essays, as indeed Bakhtin's literary aesdietics as such, lies in meir systematic effort to situate die very being of literary art in die flow of concrete historical time. I have some reservations concerning Bakhtin's "dialogized heteroglossia" as the exclusive novelistic choice, for I believe there are texts in which monoglossia reduces all voices to one. Recently, Tzvetan Todorov reminded us of this textual possibility. This reservation , however, in no way diminishes my high regard for Bakhtin's theoretical and critical brilliance. I cannot but agree with Michael Holquist that due to this brilliance, Bakhtin "is gradually emerging as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century" (p. xv). Rutgers UniversityJohn Fizer The Literate Revolution in Greece and Its Cultural Consequences, by Eric A. Havelock; viii & 362 pp. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982, $25.00 hardbound, $8.95 paper. This book, appearing in the Princeton Series of Collected Essays, contains twelve articles and already published lectures from the years 1966-1980, with a thirty-five page introduction in which the audior answers die detractors of his earlier books — Preface to 272Philosophy and Literature Plato (1963); The Greek Concept ofJustice (197'8) — and entrusts the contents ofthis volume to "die fresh minds of a new generation" (p. 32). The central arguments of this collection, as of the earlier books, are that the invention of the Greek alphabet did not produce an immediate "literate revolution," mat Greek literature remained an oral literature down to the time of Plato and that the alphabet finally produced literature in die modem sense and "furnished a necessary conceptual foundation on which to build the structures of the modern sciences and philosophies" (p. 6). To the Greek alphabet, of which his estimate is indeed high, Havelock devotes many pages. The snobbery of the hidebound classicists for whom Hellenism is inseparable from literacy and books (p. 30) seems to return in Havelock despite himself in the supremacy of the Greek alphabet. In the inscription on the Dipylon vase (8th c. B.C.) die author sees the announcement of "a revolution . . . destined to change the nature of human culture, dirowing die elaborate calligraphy of Egypt and die cuneiform records of Mesopotamia into the dustbin of history" (p. 192; cf. pp. 74, 172, 185). But who are diese leathery-minded classicists? Havelock's main proposition concerning literacy and books is already found in the Oxford Classical Dictionary (1970; 2nd ed.), under die rubric "Books." What classicists have objected to in Havelock is perhaps not the thesis on die persisting orality of Greek literature but the unhistorical...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 271-272
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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