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Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky: a semiotic analysis of the Bakhtins concept of polyphony

Grant number: 11/21651-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Norma Discini de Campos
Grantee:Marcos Rogério Martins Costa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This work aims to show the constituent elements of Bakhtin's concept of polyphony in the novel Crime and Punishment written by the Russian author Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. Therefore we use both the theoretical tools of the discursive semiotics proposed by Greimas (2008) and the tensive semiotics proposed by Zilberberg (2006a, 2006b). We analyze what, why, and how the text says, considering the plan of the contents divided into three parts as follows: fundamental, narrative, and discursive level. We investigate how the incompleteness is built in Dostoevsky's work and we have observed that it is made on the axis of the threshold, by means of the constituent heterogeneity of the novel genre (MAINGUENEAU, 2006; AUTHIER, 1990), which converges, in this novel context, to the constituent polyphony of the actors enunciate, especially the protagonist Raskolnikov. This observation of the unconcluded statements of Dostoevsky's novel permitted us to understand the discursive scheme organized by the author - addresser Dostoevsky, in order to investigate how the polyphony effect is built in the literary discourse of this Russian author. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore, from the semiotic tools, the principles concerning Bakhtin's concept of polyphony, thereby, we can investigate the generative structure of this concept which, as we intend to show, it has as its origin the tensive relations, it gets stronger from the complex narrative programs and, finally, it manifests in the discursive level as at least two equipollent and immiscible voices, in controversy or agreement, but never subordinated one to another, before coexisting.(AU)

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