Mediapolis.Europa 2017: Auto/biography, Polyphony, Plurivocality

Страна: Италия

Город: Rome

Дедлайн: 15.01.2017

Даты: 19.07.17 — 21.06.17

Е-мейл Оргкомитета: [email protected], [email protected]

Организаторы: The association "Mediapolis.Europa"


Polyphony, plurivocality, dialogue, remake: what role do these play in autobiographical narration? Does quotation – reference to other texts – fulfil Rimbaud’s famous and paradoxical expression Je est un autre (1871)?

On an extreme level, two poles accompany the use of words and images taken from other contexts and transplanted into one’s own textual corpus: on the one hand, these elements can be integrated because they are interpreted as ‘carriers of truth’; on the other hand, they can be used as mere instruments (“When words are missing, they must be searched for,” says a character in Open Doors, a film taken from L. Sciascia’s eponymous book and directed by G. Amelio, with screenplay by Amelio and V. Cerami, 1990).

Antoine  Compagnon reminds us that the term ‘quotation’ did not exist in Greek and Latin (A. Compagnon, 1979, p. 95). About the depictions of various characters who speak in the first person, Compagnon writes: “Plato, who recommended diffidence towards repetition and direct speech, uses them in his text; Aristotle, who judges their power favourably, refrains from using them.” (A. Compagnon, ibid., p. 109).

The reference par excellence to the concept of polyphony is still Bakhtin’s in Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1929). Bakhtin shows how, in the context of Dostoevsky’s novels, it is possible to fully identify the other’s voice and the character’s own existence if it is polyphonically represented in the narration. Bakhtin claims that Dostoevsky never ascribes the characters’ world and consciousness to a pre-existing judgement. The dramaturgy retains all of its tension, never obscured by the author’s ideology.

With due distinctions, and without aesthetic ambitions, we also find this procedure in popular autobiographies and in everyday interaction; in particular, the latter aspect has been highlighted in recent sociolinguistic studies of international phenomena such as translanguaging, stylisation and crossing (Ben Rampton 2005 and Ofelia García-Wen Li, 2014).