- Internal Chronotopic Genre Structures : The Nineteenth-Century Historical Novel in the Context of the Belgian Literary Polysystem (2010)
- One of the most fundamental problems of systemic approaches to literature is the question of how systemic principles might be translated into a manageable methodological framework. This contribution proposes that a combination of functionalistsystemic theories (in casu Itamar Even-Zohar’s Polysystem theory – especially the textually oriented versions – and the prototypical genre approach proposed by Dirk De Geest and Hendrik Van Gorp 1999) with Mikhail Bakhtin’s chronotope theory shows great promise in this respect. Since I am primarily interested in literary genres, the prototypical genre approach assumes a central position in my theoretical framework. My main argument is that Bakhtin’s chronotope concept offers interesting perspectives as a heuristic tool within a functionalist-systemic approach to genre studies, enabling the study not only of the constitutive elements of genre systems, but also of their mutual relations. Bakhtin’s own vague definitions of the concept somewhat hamper the process of putting it into practice for this purpose, but with the aid of the distinction between generic and motivic chronotopes, that problem can be solved. A detailed, comprehensive account of the theoretical premises underlying my proposal can be found in Bemong (under review); here I restrict myself to the basics.
- Bakhtin’s Theory of the Literary Chronotope : Reflections, Applications, Perspectives (2010)
- The aim of this introductory article [to the volume of the same title], firstly, is to recapitulate the basic principles of Bakhtin’s initial theory as formulated in “Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel: Notes toward a Historical Poetics” (henceforth FTC) and “The Bildungsroman and its Significance in the History of Realism (Toward a Historic Typology of the Novel)” (henceforth BSHR). Subsequently, we present some relevant elaborations of Bakhtin’s initial concept and a number of applications of chronotopic analysis, closing our state of the art by outlining two perspectives for further investigation. Some of the issues which we touch upon receive more detailed treatment in other contributions to this volume. Others may offer perspectives for future Bakhtin scholarship.