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Connect these steps/insights, and track how the novelistic attention is also at the same time an existential reflection more broadly.

With Structuralism—Post structuralism-Postmodernism we went within the topics/methods of Genealogy and
Semiotics. There we tracked the ways in which Subjectivity, Meaning, Lived Experience, Space/Positionality, and
Perception were shaped by systems of Signification. Foucault’s reading of Nietzsche and Discourses addressed the
problem of how paradigms of historical knowledge and experience (including contemporary discourses) overlook
more microcosmic ‘forces’ and events that play within the layers of human being-in-the-world. Barthes’ reading of
urban experience addressed the active possibilities in our navigation of the ‘symbolic’ relationship of perception and
identity to the poetics of microstructered ‘sign’ dynamics, as opposed to the calculative point of view/measurements
of the urban-planning mindset and its utilitarian modes of writing the city and self. Our present transition maintains
this ‘existential’ itinerary, but it is as though the post structuralist unfolding of dynamism on the side of the signified
relationship is unpacked more specifically within the play of ideas that comprise the writing and reading of our
literary and lived poetics.
1. Bakhtin’s account of Heterogeneous in novelist style, and the ‘refraction’ within authorial intention opens itself up
to dialogical plays of forces (between literary characters, even within the stylized voices of a single sentence),
sometimes feels like a formalist way of accounting for revolutionary content that breaks with the formal
(monological). The relation of the author to language is like Barthes on the relation of the tourist/dweller to urban
architecture and perception, and to Foucault on the relation of the Genealogist to the structures of historical
becoming. Consider Bakhtin’s discussions of the Comic/Parody style (274f), the Character Language/Autonomy
techniques (283f), and how Incorporated Genres that stratify linguistic unity (286f).
2. Near the bottom of Bakhtin’s p.280 there is a summary point about ‘stratification.’ Then in pgrph 2 on p.286
there is a summary statement about the ‘dialogized zone’ carved out within character interchanges. And at the
bottom of p.288 we find a comment on ‘double-voiced discourse’. Finally on p.292 these elements are tied together
into the themes of ‘heteroglot’ and historical ‘becoming.’ Try to connect these steps/insights, and track how the
novelistic attention is also at the same time an existential reflection more broadly.
3. Kristeva’s attention to the psychoanalytic situation at work within Signification draws us into other layers of our
semiotic formation and experience, both in terms of the situation Subjectivity is in and the intertexual Method for
‘reading’ this situation. This attention picks up where Bakhtin seems to have left off – the social and speaking
subject and not just the intersubjectivity between authors and their characters. Thus, the course of ‘refractions’ lying
on the surface of storied experience is still there, but also located ‘within’ the process of how human becoming
traverses the internal and societal realms. And it is almost as if her use of Plato’s Chora on one hand appreciates
Barthes’ emerging distinction between stable signifiers and mobile signifies, yet on the other places ‘both’ within a
deeper positional flux of heterogeneity. Barthes’ ‘reader’ and Foucault’s ‘genealogist’ could here serve as Analysts,
whereas the dynamics they account for could function as the Analysands. Consider how her process of
interpretation includes a ‘healing’ vocation that might supplement or diverge from their more decalcifying function?
4. Kristeva’s practice of elaborating the formative modes of ‘poetic meaning’ links with Bakhtin’s ‘transgressive’
focus on the (dialogical) literary word as an ‘intersection of textual surfaces rather than a point (a fixed meaning)’
(p.36). We need to have Bakhtin’s account of Heteroglossia as well as his earlier work on Dostoevsky’s poetics in
mind here; and Kristeva goes into considerable detail. In working toward her conclusion at p.59 regarding the
‘dialogical principle for a space of thought much larger than that of the novel’, how has her own semiotic-Lacanian-
Derridean lens enriched her case for reading ‘space and infinity’ (p.58) in narrative structure (Bakhtin) as a
promising, yet still somewhat ‘naïve’, advance for dialogism? Specifically, within her close reading of Bakhtin, what
elements has Kristeva been adding to the critique of ‘epic monologism’ (see p47-49 for example)?
5. Stepping back a bit, we might say that both authors work with a laser-like focus that displays the strategic
interaction of their ‘methods’ with their ‘topics’ (topics which again here involve the case for the methods in use). In
simple terms, how might we report on, and even apply in our own philosophical and artistic work, this intertextual
approach to matter and method?

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