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Title: The operation of discourse as a motive for critical practice : a Bakhtinian perspective
Author: Middleton, Tim
ISNI:       0000 0001 3397 810X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis offers a Bakhtinian perspective on the operation of discourse in critical practice. Bakhtin's account of the individual's relation to language provides the basis for an examination of the ways in which discourse operates as a constraint upon and motive for acts of interpretation. In this my thesis breaks with the dominant use of Bakhtinian theory in which it is deployed as a means of analysing the operation of discourse in literary texts. In what follows I begin with an account of Bakhtin's sociolinguistics. Having established the theoretical framework for my analysis I move on to characterise the discourses of the heteroglossia in Britain in the period 1900 to 1930. For ease of analysis my account is divided into two sections. In the first of these the discourses operating at the societal level are discussed whilst the second section is concerned with the discourses which operated in literary critical circles at this time. In the third section of this work I offer an intermediate synthesis via an analysis of the operation of the discourses identified in preceding section in the practice of leading literary critics from this era. This section also enables me to offer a fuller account of the various discourses informing critical practice at this time. In the fourth section I examine the criticism generated by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in the period 1899 to 1930 and offer a detailed account of the ways in which the discourses identified in previous sections operate as constraints upon the act of criticism. More general works on Conrad from this period are also analysed. In my Conclusion I step back from the minutiae of critical practice and offer an account of some of the problems associated with adopting a Bakhtinian perspective on the processes of criticism. I end with a brief statement of the value of Bakhtinian theory as a basis for critical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PB Modern European Languages ; PN0080 Criticism