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Powys and Bakhtin 'En Dialogue': Two Contemporary Views on Rabelais

Abstract : This paper is about two critical works on Rabelais written at almost the same time, one by the philosopher and literary critic, Mikhaïl Bakhtin, and the other by the English novelist and essayist John Cowper Powys. A close reading of the two texts shows a lot of similarities in these two men’s approaches to Rabelais. Using one of Bakhtin’s most potent concepts—that of dialogue—it is, however, possible to take a closer look and see some of the weaker points and assets of their respective works. Little by little, the very personal conception Powys had of literary criticism emerges. His aim was not simply to speak about Rabelais and his books but to let the French writer’s style take him over. Thus Powys’s critical work, which is an open text, mirrors Rabelais’ aesthetic and demonstrates all the while that the two writers’ aesthetics are the vehicle for their ethical positions.
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https://hal-univ-pau.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02171769
Contributor : Julien Rabaud <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 10:59:21 AM
Last modification on : Monday, June 21, 2021 - 4:49:46 PM

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Florence Marie. Powys and Bakhtin 'En Dialogue': Two Contemporary Views on Rabelais. Études britanniques contemporaines - Revue de la Société dʼétudes anglaises contemporaines, Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2007, pp.75-88. ⟨hal-02171769⟩

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