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Glossary of Literary Theory
Carnival / carnivalesque:
A term used by Mikhail Bakhtin to describe the "joyful relativity"
and "vitality" of the novel, which, unlike the lyric poem, incorporates
a rich variety and multiplicity of styles, points of view, and voices.
The "polyphonic" novel, unlike
the "monological" poem, is inherently "dialogical."
The novelistic, together with the carnivalistic, runs in its early forms
from the Socratic dialogue through the Menippean satire. For Bakhtin truth
is arrived at dialectically and dialogically through the competitive cooperation
of divergent voices.
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