Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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Alasdair MacIntyre played a large role in alerting those outside literature departments to the central role of narrative in very aspect of experience. In this he shares certain assumptions with Bakhtin. Both argue that we cannot think without putting events — especially the ongoing event of our lives — into a sequence of some kind. Bakhtin differs from MacIntyre in recognizing that there is a problem in thus universalizing narrative: If everything is narrativized, how can we discriminate between good and bad stories? Bakhtin’s concept of ‘novelness’ is a general theory of narrative, not just a theory of the genre of the novel. Novelness stresses the importance of openness, shared authorship, and other features that provide a set of categories for distinguishing between stories that are faithful to the dialogic nature of human existence and those that seek to deny that nature through various strategies that insure premature closure in a false unity. In an age when the Humanities are little valued by society at large, the in depth knowledge of narrative that defines the textual humanities can provide help to other disciplines that are only now beginning to sense the importance of story.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Alasdair MacIntyre; crisis of the humanities; dialogism; Mikhail Bakhtin; narrative
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