Thursday, November 5, 2009

On Literary Allusion and Imagery

...even an unveiled and substantiated allusion does not offer any essential element for the artistic and ideological understanding of that image. The image is always deeper and wider, it is linked to tradition, it has its own aesthetic logic independent of the allusion.... Even if one single allusion...could be positively would not help us understand the traditional meaning of this image...nor its specific artistic function in the novel.

(M.M. Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, 114; trans. Helene Iswolsky)

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