Heteroglossia and Brecht's Writings on the Theatre

Gideon Stanton, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Both Brecht and Baxtin developed concepts of literature which made polysemy the guiding principal of literary expression. Brecht and Baxtin both identified a key element of solipsism inherent in the act of literary creation, which they termed, respectively, "empathy" and the "monological." In their respective genres, they both sought to show that polysemy can only be achieved by exploiting the tension between the potential multi-voicedness of language and this element of solipsism in the literary imagination. This paper seeks to further explain these striking similarities and investigate their sources.