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ERIC Number: ED346508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Translator and the Translated: Bakhtin's Intra-linguistic Dialogue and Minnie Bruce Pratt's "Crime Against Nature."
Gamber, Cayo
Two exercises were developed to demonstrate how Mikhail Bakhtin's conception of novelistic language and creative interpretation are instrumental in teaching students to read creatively. The text chosen for these exercises was "Crime Against Nature" by Minnie Bruce Pratt. According to Bakhtin's scheme, a fiction can be read most profitably by viewing it as a living mix of varied and opposing voices that lend themselves to creative interpretations. In Bakhtinian terms, readers should be trained to recognize how authors "dialogize" both "authoritative" and "innerly persuasive" words of the text. One of Pratt's primary objectives is to ensure that authoritative language loses its absolute authoritativeness. In the first exercise, then, students identify when Pratt dialogizes authoritative language to deprive it of its authority. Pratt adapts the authoritative language of legal statutes against sodomy into her poem. Pratt also decenters authoritative language in her retellings. Thus, students come to understand the uneasy authority of authoritative language. Pratt also dialogizes innerly persuasive words. The second exercise for students entails the analysis of Pratt's inner argument and how this is made public through the poems. Pratt's deep commitment to words results in her dialogizing authoritative and innerly persuasive words, and in her fidelity to "her own words." Thus, literary language is seen for what it truly is: a living mix of varied and opposing voices, developing and renewing itself. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A