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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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Satire (1940), for the Literary Encyclopedia

Satire (1940), for the Literary Encyclopedia

(p.369) Chapter 13 Satire (1940), for the Literary Encyclopedia
Persistent Forms

Mikhail Bakhtin

Fordham University Press

Bakhtin’s article, translated here for the first time, follows the structure requested by the editors of the Soviet Literary Encyclopedia: (1) the definition of satire; (2) a brief historiography of the question; (3) analysis of the most important kinds of satire; (4) a brief overview of the most important phenomena of satire in the development of world literature (satire in folk art, in ancient literature, in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance, etc.); special attention should be paid to satire in Russian literature, including Soviet. The historical overview should not strive for exhaustive completeness; it is necessary to show the distinctive qualities and function of satire at the major stages of historical development, and the satirical genres proposed by the most important artistic movements. Into this structure Bakhtin weaves some of his most characteristic ideas, for instance, dialogism, heteroglossia, carnival, “popular-festive laughter,” and the Menippean satire as a source of the modern novel. These concepts dominated Bakhtin’s other writings from the late 1930s and early 1940s, most notably his dissertation on Rabelais, and were developed further in Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1963).

Keywords:   carnival, genre, The Menippea, satire, Soviet culture

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