Abstract

The present article returns to Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of carnival in order to reconsider the role that the nineteenth-century writer Nikolai Gogol plays for Bakhtin in that theory’s elaboration, from Bakhtin’s earliest writings on the subject in the late 1930s to the publication of his study of Rabelais in 1965 and the companion essay on Rabelais and Gogol in 1972. Whereas Bakhtin’s published works seem to present Gogol as an exemplary manifestation of carnival in the modern period, his notebooks point us toward a more negative reading of Gogol: as carnival’s nemesis—specifically, as the disorganizing intrusion of allegory into the allegedly organic and symbolic political order that carnival claims as its source and its strength.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-2978
Print ISSN
0084-3695
Pages
pp. 130-155
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-09
Open Access
No
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