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Persistent FormsExplorations in Historical Poetics$
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Ilya Kliger and Boris Maslov

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264858

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264858.001.0001

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On “Genre Memory” in Bakhtin

On “Genre Memory” in Bakhtin

Chapter:
(p.227) Chapter 8 On “Genre Memory” in Bakhtin
Source:
Persistent Forms
Author(s):

Ilya Kliger

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264858.003.0008

This chapter attempts a hermeneutics of the concept of “genre memory” in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin. It argues that it may be fruitful to read Bakhtin’s early philosophical work, Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity, as already in a sense a work in Historical Poetics. By tracing the evolution of Bakhtin’s thought from the early philosophical manuscript to the second edition of his book on Dostoevsky’s poetics and beyond, Kliger tries to show that the notions of “genre memory” and “great time” are a product of a decades-long quest for a viable redefinition of “tradition”—usually associated with the stable order of the premodern societies—for the modern age. The task of the chapter is to understand what it might mean to speak of the persistence of forms in modern literatures.

Keywords:   Bakhtin, Dostoevsky, genre memory, time, tradition

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