A Meek One

Topics: Narrative, Mikhail Bakhtin, Husband Pages: 18 (5814 words) Published: January 1, 2013
Dialogue on the threshold and diatribe: construction mechanisms of the individual's self-consciousness / Diálogo no limiar e diatribe: mecanismos de construção da autoconsciência do sujeito

Aurora Gedra Ruiz Alvarez*
Lílian Lopondo**

This paper is about the dialogue on the threshold whose origins are in the Socratic dialogue and the diatribe (a dialogued internal gender), both understood as privileged mechanisms in the construction of the main character of Dostoevski´s novel Uma criatura dócil [The Meek One]. Its aim is to discuss the materiality of the text – mainly the dialogue on the threshold when the main character is in its existential crisis – and the mechanism of the diatribe which provoke the philosophical dialogue experience that the individual assumes while constituting his voice.

KEYWORDS: Dialogue on the threshold; Socratic dialogue; Diatribe; Selfconsciousness

Este artigo tem o objetivo de refletir sobre o diálogo no limiar, um gênero nascido do diálogo socrático, e a diatribe, um gênero retórico interno dialogado, compreendidos ambos os fenômenos, neste estudo, como instrumentos privilegiados para a construção da autoconsciência do protagonista de Uma criatura dócil, novela de Dostoiévski. Tencionamos examinar, na materialidade do texto, o partejar das ideias desenvolvido pelo diálogo no limiar no momento da crise existencial vivida pela personagemnarrador e os expedientes da diatribe que provocam a experimentação filosóficodialógica que esse sujeito assume ao constituir a sua voz. PALAVRAS-CHAVE: Diálogo no limiar; Diálogo socrático; Diatribe; Autoconsciência


Professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie – UPM, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; auroragedra@hotmail.com
Professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie – UPM e da Universidade de São Paulo – USP, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; lopondo@uol.com.br
Bakhtiniana, São Paulo, 7 (2): 5-18, Jul./Dec. 2012.


On the romanesque truth
In the preface to The Meek One (2009), Dostoevsky discusses the nature of the narrative to which the reader will be introduced . According to the author , this is a fantastic narrative , however not in conformity to the traditional conception of this genre, that is, the one which casts a doubt regarding the occurrence or not of certain events in the story, but referring to the verisimilitude of the focalization of the narrative instance . Dostoevsky’s reflection on inverisimilitude lies in the fact that the author could not be aware of what is told in a first -person narrative if the reported events were not a remembrance nor a confess ion, such as this story. In it, the protagonist has conversations with absent addressees who supposedly listen and give an appraisal of what is told by the speaker. The dialogue follows the course of the character-bound narrator ’s reflections back in the p ast and into the future , in order for him to understand what motivated his wife’s suicide and to understand himself. The narrative, captured in its inception , therefore still in the process of mental elaboration , generates a fantastic situation according t o Dostoevsky’s understanding. How would the author, from the perspective of the exotopy of the character’s self -questioning, gain access to the process of search for the truth ? – asks Dostoevsky. He notes that such knowledge would only be reasonable if an ―invisible stenographer‖ took notes of these speeches and transmitted them to the author. Dostoevsky remembers that a similar technique had been used by Victor Hugo. In The Last Day of a Man Condemned to Death, the French writer inserts in the narrative the character’s flow of thoughts in the last moment prior to his death . According to the author of The Insulted and Injured , if Victor Hugo ― without allowing that fantas y, the story would not exist – the most real and most truthful work of all he wrote‖ (DOSTOEVSKY , 2009, p.355).

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