Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
The Chronotope of Humanness : Bakhtin and Dostoevsky
Gary Saul Morson
- Bakhtin and Dostoevsky shared the conviction that human life must be understood in terms of temporality. Both thinkers were obsessed with time’s relation to life as people experience it. For each, a rich sense of humanity demanded a chronotope of open time. In many respects, the views of Bakhtin and Dostoevsky coincide. Theologically speaking, one could fairly call them both heretics, as we shall see. Their differences reflect their different starting points. Bakhtin began with ethics, whereas Dostoevsky thought about life first and foremost in terms of psychology. For Bakhtin, any viable view of the world had first of all to give a rich meaning to moral responsibility. Dostoevsky could accept no view that was false to his sense of how the human mind thought and felt.