Bakhtin’s Carnival and the Grotesque Body as Applied to Lazarillo de Tormes


Christopher Conway

Mikhail Bakhtin, in his landmark study Rabelais and His World (1968), defined and explored two concepts that have been of immeasurable value to cultural historians and literary critics: the carnivalesque and the grotesque body. The first term, the carnivalesque, is a term that springs from Bakhtin’s examination of medieval carnival festivities, the only time of year that peasants were able to publicly break loose, so to speak, and celebrate in ways that cut against the grain of Christian morality and reigning class hierarchies. “Here, in the town square,” writes Bakhtin, “a special form of free and familiar contact reigned among people who were usually divided by the barriers of caste, property, profession, and age” (10). During Carnival, Bakhtin continues, certain types of communication, performance, and story-telling reign supreme: there’s base language (billingsgate), iconoclastic laughter, and parody. Taken together, these qualities underline that carnival as a historical phenomenon, and…

View original post 1,113 more words

Advertisements

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s