Rhetoric Society of America Institute, Summer 2007
Rhetoric, Culture, and Technology Seminar

Rhetorics of Diversity and Community and the New Information Design Paradigm
Jim Zappen, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rhetorics of Difference and Diversity: Mikhail M. Bakhtin

Part I. Contextual and Intertextual Background: Soviet Russia, Hegelian Dialectic, and Bakhtinian Dialogue

A. "[In the 1930s,] Soviet society was passing several milestones on the route of progressive Stalinization, including the centralization of all cultural institutions, the cult of personality, the heightened power of the secret police, the chauvinism, and the purges. Such trends necessarily alarmed someone of Bakhtin's basic assumptions and principles. But the institutions of Stalinism were by no means all that troubled him. He was most disturbed by what was happening to that key element in his philosophy, language. The official language had become homogenized and dominated all aspects of public life. Most literature and literary scholarship were mere subfunctions of the official rhetoric and myths. Official pronouncements were absolutely authoritative and final." (267)

B. "Thus, the rhetoric of Stalinism established a vertical ordering of reality, which was simplified to a binary contrast between everything ordinary and 'low,' on the one hand, and, on the other, everything different, extraordinary, and 'high.' Stalinist epistemology was a crude form of Neo-Platonism in which only the elect, specifically the leaders, had access to the higher order of reality.
   Bakhtin's response to Stalinism is organized around the dichotomy common to all his earlier writings, the distinction between official culture and the culture of the folk. In the case of Rabelais' world, the official culture was that of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire, while the folk culture was that of the lower orders in the carnival and marketplace. The function of folk culture is not just to debunk authority figures and received notions, as a healthy antidote to the dullness and dryness of official culture. Folk humor amounts to considerably more than mere playful irreverence, for the folk assume willy-nilly the role of a bulwark against repression. The peculiarity of carnival laughter is its 'indissoluble and essential relation to freedom.'" (308)

Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist, Mikhail Bakhtin (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1984), 267, 308.

C. "The Dostoevsky book also seems to have an implicit political agenda, which is anti-Marxist. Obviously, in the Soviet context such a view could not be expressed directly. But Bakhtin comes remarkably close to doing so in his lengthy attacks on 'dialectics' (in the Soviet Union, as every schoolchild knows, Marxism-Leninism is officially identified with dialectical materialism) . . . . Bakhtin also explicitly criticizes Hegelianism and utopianism, which are indeed permissible targets in the Soviet Union; but together with his critiques of dialectics, these passages triangulate the unnamed opponent, Marxism, to which we may draw 'dotted lines.'"

Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1990), 267.

D. "The unified, dialectically evolving spirit, understood in Hegelian terms, can give rise to nothing but a philosophical monologue. And the soil of monistic idealism is the least likely place for a plurality of unmerged consciousnesses to blossom. In this sense the unified evolving spirit, even as an image, is organically alien to Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky's world is profoundly pluralistic . . . , while the image of a unified spirit is deeply alien to him."

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 26-27.

E. "Dialogue and dialectics. Take a dialogue and remove the voices (the partitioning of voices), remove the intonations (emotional and individualizing ones), carve out abstract concepts and judgments from living words and responses, cram everything into one abstract consciousness—and that's how you get dialectics."

M[ikhail]M. Bakhtin, "From Notes Made in 1970-71," in Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans. Vern W. McGee, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 8 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 147.

Part II. Bakhtin on Rhetoric, Utterance, Heteroglossia

A. Rhetoric as Oppositional, Formalistic, Dialogical

1. "In rhetoric there is the unconditionally innocent and the unconditionally guilty; there is complete victory and destruction of the opponent. In dialogue the destruction of the opponent also destroys that very dialogic sphere where the word lives."

M[ikhail] M. Bakhtin, "From Notes Made in 1970-71," in Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans. Vern W. McGee, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, no. 8. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 150.

2. "Rhetorical genres possess the most varied forms for transmitting another's speech, and for the most part these are intensely dialogized forms." (354)

3. "Rhetorical genres ['the rhetoric of the courts,' 'political rhetoric,' 'publicist discourse'] possess the most varied forms for transmitting another's speech, and for the most part these are intensely dialogized forms . . . . [But] in most cases the double-voicedness of rhetoric is abstract and thus lends itself to formal, purely logical analysis of the ideas that are parceled out in voices, an analysis that then exhausts it." (353-54)

M[ikhail] M. Bakhtin, "Discourse in the Novel," in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 1 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 353-54.

4. "Bakhtin . . . implicitly calls into question the purpose of discourse. Are its goals those delineated by Cicero—to prove, charm, or sway? Or are they those of Augustine—to teach, delight, or move—or others not yet systematized or theoretically articulated?"

Kay Halasek, A Pedagogy of Possibility: Bakhtinian Perspectives on Composition Studies (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999), 58.

B. The Utterance as a Change of Speaking Subjects

1. "The boundaries of each concrete utterance as a unit of speech communication are determined by a change of speaking subjects, that is, a change of speakers." (71)

2. "The sentence itself is not correlated directly or personally with the extraverbal context of reality (situation, setting, pre-history) or with the utterances of other speakers; this takes place only indirectly, through its entire surrounding context, that is, through the utterance as a whole." (73-74)

3. "Any utterance is a link in the chain of speech communication." (84)

M[ikhail] M. Bakhtin, "The Problem of Speech Genres," in Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans. Vern W. McGee, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 8 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 71, 73-74, 84.

4. "'Life is good.' 'Life is good.'"

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 183.

C. Dialogue, Heteroglossia, and Dialogized Heteroglossia

1. "Bakhtin used the term dialogue in at least three distinct senses . . . . In Chapter One, we discussed dialogue as a global concept, as a view of truth and the world; we think of this as the third sense of dialogue. At present we are concerned with what we call the first sense of dialogue, according to which every utterance is by definition dialogic. Later in the present chapter, we will consider the second sense of dialogue, which allows some utterances to be dialogic and some to be nondialogic (or monologic)."

Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), 130-31.

2. "Every utterance participates in the 'unitary language' (in its centripetal forces and tendencies) and at the same time partakes of social and historical heteroglossia (the centrifugal, stratifying forces)." (272)

3. "The living utterance, having taken meaning and shape at a particular historical moment in a socially specific environment, cannot fail to brush up against thousands of living dialogic threads, woven by socio-ideological consciousness around the given object of an utterance; it cannot fail to become an active participant in social dialogue." (276)

4. "For any individual consciousness living in it, language is not an abstract system of normative forms but rather a concrete heteroglot conception of the world. All words have the 'taste' of a profession, a genre, a tendency, a party, a particular work, a particular person, a generation, an age group, the day and hour." (293)

5. "Thus an illiterate peasant, miles away from any urban center, naively immersed in an unmoving and for him [or her] unshakable world, nevertheless lived in several language systems: he [or she] prayed to God in one language [Church Slavonic], sang songs in another, spoke to his [or her] family in a third and, when he [or she] began to dictate petitions to the local authorities through a scribe, he [or she] tried speaking yet a fourth language [the official-literate language, 'paper' language]. All these are different languages, even from the point of view of abstract socio-dialectological markers . . . . As soon as a critical interanimation of languages began to occur in the consciousness of our peasant, as soon as it became clear that these were not only various different languages but even internally variegated languages, that the ideological systems and approaches to the world that were indissolubly connected with these languages contradicted each other and in no way could live in peace and quiet with one another—then the inviolability and predetermined quality of these languages came to an end, and the necessity of actively choosing one's orientation among them began." (295-96)

M[ikhail] M. Bakhtin, "Discourse in the Novel," in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 1 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 272, 276, 293, 295-96.

6. "In fact, this dialogizing of languages is always going on, and so when words attract tones and meanings from the languages of heteroglossia, they are often attracting already dialogized meanings. Having participated in more than one value system, these words become dialogized, disputed, and reaccented in yet another way as they encounter yet another."

Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990), 143.

D. Authoritative and Internally Persuasive Discourse

1. "The tendency to assimilate others' discourse takes on an even deeper and more basic significance in an individual's ideological becoming, in the most fundamental sense. Another's discourse performs here as no longer as information, directions, rules, models and so forth—but strives rather to determine the very bases of our ideological interrelations with the world, the very basis of our behavior; it performs here as authoritative discourse, and an internally persuasive discourse." (342)

2. "Both the authority of discourse and its internal persuasiveness may be united in a single word—one that is simultaneously authoritative and internally persuasive—despite the profound differences between these two categories of alien discourse. But such unity is rarely a given—it happens more frequently that an individual's becoming, an ideological process, is characterized precisely by a sharp gap between these two categories: in one, the authoritative word (religious, political, moral; the word of a father, of adults and of teachers, etc.) that does not know internal persuasiveness, in the other internally persuasive word that is denied all privilege, backed up by no authority at all, and is frequently not even acknowledged in society (not by public opinion, nor by scholarly norms, nor by criticism), not even in the legal code. The struggle and dialogic interrelationship of these categories of ideological discourse are what usually determine the history of an individual ideological consciousness." (342)

M[ikhail] M. Bakhtin, "Discourse in the Novel," in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 1 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 342.

Part III. Bakhtin on Polyphony, Socratic Dialogue, Double-Voicedness, and Carnival

A. Polyphony as Plurality and as Unity

1. "A plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices is in fact the chief characteristic of Dostoevsky's novels. What unfolds in his works is not a multitude of characters and fates in a single objective world, illuminated by a single authorial consciousness; rather a plurality of consciousnesses, with equal rights and each with its own world, combine but are not merged in the unity of the event." (6)

2. "In actual fact, the utterly incompatible elements comprising Dostoevsky's material are distributed among several worlds and several autonomous consciousnesses; they are presented not within a single field of vision but within several fields of vision, each full and of equal worth; and it is not the material directly but these worlds, their consciousnesses with their individual fields of vision that combine in a higher unity, a unity, so to speak, of the second order, the unity of a polyphonic novel . . . . It is as if varying systems of calculation were united here in the complex unity of an Einsteinian universe (although the juxtaposition of Dostoevsky's world with Einstein's world is, of course, only an artistic comparison and not a scientific analogy)." (16)

3. "Thus the new artistic position of the author with regard to the hero in Dostoevsky's polyphonic novel is a fully realized and thoroughly consistent dialogic position, one that affirms the independence, internal freedom, unfinalizability, and indeterminacy of the hero." (63)

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 6, 16, 63.

B. Socratic Dialogue as Testing, Contesting, Creating Ideas

1. "Bakhtin reminds us that the 'event' of Socratic dialogue is of the nature of discourse: a questioning and testing, through speech, of a definition. This speech practice is therefore organically linked to the man who created it (Socrates and his students), or better, speech is man [or woman] and his [or her] activity. Here, one can speak of a practice possessing a synthetic character; the practice separating the word as act, as apodeictic practice, as articulation of difference from the image as representation, as knowledge, and as idea was not yet complete when Socratic dialogue took form."

Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. Leon S. Roudiez, trans. Thomas Gora, Alice Jardine, and Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 81.

2. "Truth is not born nor is it to be found inside the head of an individual person, it is born between people collectively searching for truth, in the process of their dialogic interaction." (110)

3. "And the very event that is accomplished in a Socratic dialogue (or, more precisely, that is reproduced in it) is the purely ideological event of seeking and testing truth." (111)

4. "In Plato's Apology the situation of the trial and expected death sentence determines the special character of Socrates' mode of speaking; it is the summing-up and confession of a man standing on the threshold." (111)

5. "The ideas of Socrates, of the leading Sophists and other historical figures, are not quoted here, not paraphrased, but are presented in their free and creative development against a dialogizing background of other ideas." (112)

6. "The carnivalistic base of the Socratic dialogue, despite its very complicated form and philosophical depth, is beyond any doubt. Folk-carnival 'debates' between life and death, darkness and light, winter and summer, etc., permeated with the pathos of change and the joyful relativity of all things, debates which did not permit thought to stop and congeal in one-sided seriousness or in a stupid fetish for definition or singleness of meaning—all this lay at the base of the original core of the genre. This distinguishes the Socratic dialogue from the purely rhetorical dialogue as well as from the tragic dialogue . . . . Characteristic of a Socratic dialogue are the unrestrained mèsalliances of thoughts and images. 'Socratic irony' is reduced carnival laughter." (132)

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 110-12, 132.

C. Double-Voicedness: Stylization, Parody, and Hidden Polemic

1. Discourse Types [from Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, pp. 186-204]

I.   Single-Voiced Words [pp. 186 ff.]
A.   'Words of the first type': Direct, unmediated discourse [p. 186]
B.   'Words of the second type': Objectified discourse (of a represented person) [pp. 186 ff.]
II.   Double-Voiced Words: 'Words of the third type' [pp. 189 ff.]
A.   Passive double-voiced words
1.   Unidirectional passive double-voiced words (such as stylization [and skaz]) [pp. 189 ff.]
2.   Varidirectional passive double-voiced words (such as parody [and irony]) [pp. 193 ff.]
B.   Active double-voiced words [such as hidden polemic and hidden dialogicality and also parody] [pp. 195 ff.]
Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1990), 147.

2. "Alongside direct and unmediated object-oriented discourse—naming, informing, expressing, representing . . . we can also observe represented or objectified discourse . . . [such as] the direct speech of characters." (186)

3. "Direct referentially oriented discourse recognizes only itself and its object." (187)

4. "Stylization forces another person's referential (artistically referential) intention to serve its new purposes, that is, its new intentions." (189)

5. "The situation is different with parody. Here, as in stylization, the author again speaks in someone else's discourse, but in contrast to stylization parody introduces into that discourse a semantic intention that is directly opposed to the original one. The second voice, once having made its home in the other's discourse, clashes hostilely with its primordial host and forces him [or her] to serve directly opposing aims." (193)

6. "In a hidden polemic . . . , a polemical blow is struck at the other's discourse on the same theme, at the other's statement about the same object. A word, directed toward its referential object, clashes with another's word within the very object itself." (195)

7. "In hidden polemic and in dialogue, on the contrary, the other's words actively influence the author's speech, forcing it to alter itself accordingly under their influence and initiative." (197)

8. "When parody senses a fundamental resistance, a certain strength and depth to the parodied words of the other, the parody becomes complicated by tones of hidden polemic. Such parody already has a difference sound to it. The parodied discourse rings out more actively, exerts a counterforce against the author's intentions." (198)

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 8 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), 186-87, 189, 193, 195, 197-98.

D. Double-Voicedness: Illustrations

1. The Signifying Monkey

"One of the most sustained attempts to define Signifyin(g) is that of Roger D. Abrahams . . .

1. Signifyin(g) 'can mean any number of things.'
2. It is a black term and a black rhetorical device.
3. It can mean the 'ability to talk with great innuendo.'
4. It can mean 'to carp, cajole, needle, and lie.'
5. It can mean 'the propensity to talk around a subject, never quite coming to the point.'
6. It can mean 'making fun of a person or situation.'
7. It can 'also denote speaking with the hands and eyes.'
8. It is 'the language of trickery, that set of words achieving Hamlet's "direction through indirection."'
9. The Monkey 'is a "signifyer," and the Lion, therefore, is the signified.'" (75)

"The mastery of Signifyin(g) creates homo rhetoricus Africanus, allowing—through the manipulation of these classic black figures of Signification—the black person to move freely between two discursive universes [white and black]." (75)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Signifying Monkey, A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 75.

2. Introducing the Book

BoreMe:  http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2007/introducing-the-book-p1.php
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/ (Please search Introducing the Book (Repost).)


E. Carnival as Ideological Struggle and as Rebirth and Renewal

1. "Carnival is not a spectacle seen by the people; they live in it, and everyone participates because its very idea embraces all the people. While carnival lasts, there is no other life outside it. During carnival time life is subject only to its laws, that is, the laws of its own freedom. It has a universal spirit; it is a special condition of the entire world, of the world's revival and renewal, in which all take part. Such is the essence of carnival, vividly felt by all its participants." (7)

2. "The suspension of all hierarchical precedence . . . created during carnival time a special type of communication impossible in everyday life. This led to the creation of special forms of marketplace speech and gesture, frank and free, permitting no distance between those who came in contact with each other and liberating [them] from norms of etiquette and decency imposed at other times." (10)

3. "We see at what a complex intersection of languages, dialects, idioms, and jargons the literary and linguistic consciousness of the Renaissance was formed. The primitive and naïve coexistence of languages and dialectics had come to an end; the new consciousness was born not in a perfected and fixed linguistic system but at the intersection of many languages and at the point of their most intense interorientation and struggle. Languages are philosophies—not abstract but concrete, social philosophies, penetrated by a system of values inseparable from living practice and class struggle. This is why every object, every concept, every point of view, as well as every intonation found their place at this intersection of linguistic philosophies and was drawn into an intense ideological struggle." (470-71)

Mikhail [M.] Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky (1968; reprint, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Midland Book, 1984), 7, 10, 470-71.

4. "Bakhtin admirably evokes by means of Rabelais the basic aporias of the thirties, and in this case we are dealing with the unconscious of someone superlatively intelligent. Rabelais and His World is one of the key texts that help us understand the radically changed situation of a member of the new society's intelligentsia, who has lost his status as a representative of the whole in exchange for the fate of a hostage . . . . Only by opposing the ideal and imperishable image of folkness to terror as the catastrophe of the real folk could he survive, having entered into an imaginary compromise where an unconditional defeat has been historically suffered."

5. "The Moscow metro . . . was created practically parallel with our other text, Bakhtin's book on Rabelais . . . . Overall, the look of the figures in the metro has two different genealogies, corresponding to the genealogies of the masses on whom these figures were called to exert influence. First, this is a look that reveals total rejoicing, inseparable from the earth and fertility . . . . But the metro has another look with another genealogy, one which can be just as stubbornly reproduced and goes back to the trauma of urbanization. In this vision is unleashed the criminal energy of the masses, untranslatable into the idyll of a rural holiday. This vision arises within the real momentum of the work process, which is perceived as a sacrifice and which unleashes destructive forces. The angelic beginning of folkloricized triumphs collides here with labor as an insurmountable obstacle—whose continual overcoming takes the form of violent action, in a climax of terror."

6. "From the standpoint of the unprovided-for—that is, the ectatic culture of Stalinist terror—introspection is a horrifying force that comes from without; it is, strictly speaking, horror incarnate."

Mikhail K. Ryklin, "Bodies of Terror: Theses toward a Logic of Violence," New Literary History 24 (1993): 55, 59, 70.

7. "Most politically thoughtful commentators wonder, like [Terry] Eagleton, whether the 'licensed release' of carnival is not simply a form of social control of the low by the high and therefore serves the interests of the very official culture that it apparently opposes."

Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1986), 13.

8. "Furthermore, a dialogic and historicised conception of subversion—exemplified by the interaction between the carnivalesque and the discourse of individualism—points to the need for women to redefine themselves continually and polemically due to official culture's propensity to re-annex the values that it has projected, in distorted form, on to its Others. The patriarchal structure whose oppressions feminists combat is always changing, and the terms of feminist attempts at refutation and subversion must respond to these changes."

Nancy Glazener, "Dialogic Subversion: Bakhtin, the Novel and Gertrude Stein," in Bakhtin and Cultural Theory, ed. Ken Hirschkop and David Shepherd (Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester University Press, 1989), 118.

9. "Of course one important consideration which I haven't touched on in this article is the necessity for this literary protest not simply to be contained in individual texts or works, but to be carried out within the framework of other attempts to alter the construction of the dominant literary institution. Developments such as feminist publishing houses are of crucial importance to this enterprise, because of the need to control the way texts are received and read, in order to prevent their objectification and marginalisation within the institution. It is in this respect that Bakhtin's warning that carnival became powerless when contained within texts which had lost the power to dialogise official forms, because of a narrowing of the literary institution, should act as a reminder against the tendency to celebrate the carnivalesque within specific texts."

Clair Wills, "Upsetting the Public: Carnival, Hysteria and Women's Texts," in Bakhtin and Cultural Theory, ed. Ken Hirschkop and David Shepherd (Manchester, United Kingdom: Manchester University Press, 1989), 149.

F. Carnival: Illustrations

Soviet Murals and Posters from the 1920s and 1930s:  MBImages/soviet1.html
Post-World War II Soviet Apartments and Farm Collective:  MBImages/soviet2.html
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, "The Fight between Carnival and Lent," 1559:  MBImages/bruegel.html (cited in Rabelais and His World, 27, 298n11)


Part IV. Culture, Transculture, and Multiculturalism

A. "A dialogic encounter of two cultures does not result in merging or mixing. Each retains its own unity and open totality, but they are mutually enriched."

M[ikhail]M. Bakhtin, "Response to a Question from the Novy Mir Editorial Staff," in Speech Genres and Other Late Essays, ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, trans. Vern W. McGee, University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 8 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 7.

B. "What is the relationship between culturology and transculture? I call culturology the discipline that investigates the diversity of cultures and their common underlying principles. Transculture, however, is not just a field of knowledge; rather, it is a mode of being at the crossroads of cultures. A transcultural personality naturally seeks to free his or her native culture—be it Russian, Soviet, or any other—from self-definition and fetishism . . . . A culturologist is a 'universalist,' participating in a diversity of cultures. This presupposes some emotional openness and a scope of knowledge that can free a person from the limitations imposed by any particular cultural heritage. Transculture offers, moreover, a mentality capable of therapeutically benefiting those possessed by manias, phobias, and obsessions attendant upon their belonging to a specific cultural group." (296-97)

C. "In the United States, the traditional emphasis that is placed on the rights and dignity of individuals naturally produces recognition of a variety of cultures proceeding from different nationalities, races, genders, ages, and so forth. Since the individual is the ultimate minority, it is logical that the individualistic and pluralistic tendencies in America support a multiplicity of separate and distinct minority cultures. On the other hand, the Russian philosophical tradition places a premium on wholeness . . . . Thus, the notion of transculture differs from American ideas with their acceptance of many separate and distinct cultures that may exist side by side without taking the slightest interest in one another. Though the maxim of multiculturalism could be 'to accept and value difference,' the result of such differentiation is sometimes similar to complete indifference in practice." (301)

Mikhail N. Epstein, After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Culture, trans. Anesa Miller-Pogacar, Critical Perspectives on Modern Culture (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995), 296-97, 301.

D. "Conventional wisdom now teaches that 'to gaze' at someone is to appropriate that person, to reduce a living image and make it 'just like you' (or like your prejudices), to reify it, colonize it and erase its distinctive boundaries. Bakhtin says just the opposite. Until some other person has passed judgment on you from an alien and outside position, you do not have a boundary. Unseen and unfinalized by others, your image is simply a smudge, a blur." (15-16)

E. "Saturate a self in otherness and surround it with difference: That is how it will find its own freely constituted way." (19)

Caryl Emerson, "The Next Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin (The View from the Classroom)," Rhetoric Review 19 (2000): 15-16, 19.

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