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The best literature is the one which contains the greatest dissonance

The glory of literature, for Bakhtin, is its sheer linguistic inclusiveness. The best literature is that which contains the most language, or the greatest number of dissonant ideologies.

When language is so dissonant when it comes into literature is our very reason for esteeming it. To rid it of its vastly many connotations is to rid it of its life and its virtue; to claim that such a semantic purge is actually a ‘resurrection’ of the word is too much – in Bakhtin’s book, it is murder.

Any word you write or say is illuminated by the “light” of alien words that have already been spoken about it. It is entangled, shot through with shared thoughts, points of view, alien value judgments and accents. The word, directed towards its object, enters a dialogically agitated and tension-filled environment.’

It is dissonance upon dissonance, upon dissonance,  upon................


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