Dostoevsky's Difference

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It is Dostoevsky's achievement to have envisaged human life in this unfinalizable way and to have found the artistic means of representing it. To do so he rejects the authorial excess of seeing and in a Copernican revolution of novelistic form he centers the whole novel upon the interactive consciousnesses of the characters. Authorial consciousness is brought on to the same plane as that of the heroes and interacts with them dialogically as autonomous subjects not as objectified images held within the author's vision. Significantly, this shift of authorial position goes along with a shift of focus from seeing to hearing. Dostoevsky's new novelistic form is a design for discourse; a great dialogue of interacting voice, a polyphony. (PM, BR, 88)

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