On the issue of repetition, Bakhtin is his own best counsel. His understanding fo the word, and of the specificity of the utterance, invalidates the very concept of repetition. Nothing "recurs"; the same word over again might accumulate, reinforce, perhaps parody what came before it, but it cannot be the same word if it is in a different place.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
On the Impossibility of Repetition
In her editor's preface to M.M. Bakhtin's Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Caryl Emerson writes regarding translating Bakhtin: