Thursday, July 8, 2021

Carnivalesque explained simply (Bakhtin)

One of Mikhail Bakhtin's famous works is a study on "Carnival and Carnivalesque" in which Mikhail Bakhtin attached great importance to the concept of "carnivalesque". Bakhtin claims the carnival has a huge impact on the novel. The carnival is perceived by Bakhtin as a kind of negative image of reality whose most important element is laughter. But this laughter is not just an ironic, satirical or parody laugh. It stems from a certain refraction of reality, from the ambivalence of the very consciousness and human perception. In carnival there is no truth or falsehood, there is no right and wrong, the bowl is turned upside down, the slave becomes king, the lower classes occupy the front of the stage and the whole carnival is the antithesis of the dull everyday reality. Ambivalence is the key concept for understanding the carnival idea of ​​Mikhail Bakhtin, breaking the accepted hierarchies, blurring the boundaries between the show and the actors and the spectators, the laughter of the carnival is directed at all the participants, who are laughers and objects of laughter alike, The boundaries between life and death.

One can try and continue to explain and define the concept of Michael Bachatin's carnivalesque through the example of the mask. The mask is a lie and concealment, but a lie and concealment that are self-conscious and known to viewers who thereby also actually reveal something, reveal and conceal at the same time, lose the seriousness and unity of identity and enter a world of laughter and multiplicity of identities that is never defined.

The carnivalesque character, according to Bakhtin, is the nature of the modern novel due to its polyphony, that is, the multiplicity of "other" and isolated voices creeping into the text and dialogues, the novel according to Bahtin excels in double logic, carnivalesque ambivalence. The author of the novel does not lend his legitimacy to just one monologue that is also unequivocal, but to a dialogue between voices neither of which he commits, does not unreservedly support anyone, and as Bakhtin says, he is "a third party in a quarrel between two people. ".

Mikhail Bakhtin  is considered one of the greatest theorists of twentieth-century literature and a most important social philosopher, best known for his work on the carnivalesque. There is a certain fog surrounding the works of Mikhail Bakhtin, among other things due to his tendency to rewrite himself and also due to the existing controversy regarding the works that it is not clear if he wrote.