‘Everyday Creativity Is Always Dialogical in Bakhtin’s Sense’.

Topics: Mikhail Bakhtin, Genre, Language / Pages: 8 (1959 words) / Published: Oct 16th, 2008
‘Everyday creativity is always dialogical in Bakhtin’s sense’.

To what extent do you agree or disagree wit this perspective?

Traditional definitions of language have often categorised creative activity in the ‘canonical’ literary uses we see in artistic works. However, contemporary definitions no longer confine creativity with language to the work of the novelist or poet. It is a well argued point that the seeds of such literary language reside in what may be described, as the mundane, practical uses of ‘everyday’ talk and writing. This shift in opinion and approach to language study may be largely attributed to the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, who developed a social theory of language. Bakhtin’s main argument was that there should not be a special category in which to place literary language, as different and superior to the everyday, but that “literature was just one set of genres out of the wide range of different speech genres within social life” (Maybin, 2006, p.418). Bakhtin’s concern was not with the formal properties of language alone, but also in the recognition of the many genres of language, how it works and how it is affected by social, cultural and historical factors. (2006)

It is Bakhtin’s arguments, in relation to ‘everyday’ creativity that I shall consider here, focusing particularly on a key concept of his theory: ‘dialogism’. In this essay, I intend to argue that the nature of everyday creativity in language use is always dialogical. I will highlight examples from the work of others that support Bakhtinian concepts, in addition, I will contrast the inherency approach of Roman Jakobson and his notion of the poetic function of language with the more sociohistorical approach of Bakhtin.

Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism has significantly influenced the study of language and several other disciplines.

“[…] Dialogism is the idea that culture, or even existence[…], is inherently responsive,[…] involving individuals acting at a



Bibliography: Maybin, J. Swann, J., The art of English: everyday creativity, 2006 The Open University, Palgrave Macmillan. The Open University, Study Guide The art of English: everyday creativity, 2006, Palgrave Macmillan. Cheddie, K, http://homepages.nyu.edu/~klc1/ accessed 20 May 2007

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