Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr Jill Durey

Abstract

The thesis investigates the notion of an existential dialogism and its relation to the Christian idea of kenosis or descent, which is an emptying of sefthood, and the connections between this and ideas of revelation as expressed in the chronotopes of Orthodox iconography and as they appear in C&P. The thesis argues that in this novel there is a parallelism in the constructions of time and space. The linear chronotope is accompanied by a descending existentialism: that is, the polyphony and dialogism of the novel which relativise discursive personae and propel this sense of descent, are constructed within a language of event and, at the same time, there can be seen a parallel dimension which appears in the form of revelation within the dialogic existentialism and which points to an underlying essentialism. The parallelism of the chronotopic constructions points to an underlying parallelism of existentialism and essentialism in which the existential eventual discourse is in service to an essentialist anthropology whose centre is involved in a Kierkegaardian paradox. The connection with Orthodox iconography lies not only in the fact that Dostoevsky is a Slavophile but, in addition, can be seen in the way that his distortions and inversions of linearity are in service to revelation and resemble those constructions found in Byzantine and Russian iconography. This also gives way to trinitarian constructions of dialogism and polyphony rather than exclusively binary constructions of self and other. The overall structural motif, then, can be seen as one of descent, propelled by an existential dialogism. It also includes death and rebirth which constitute a trirtitarian way of being in relation to the self the other and the word itself.

Included in

Christianity Commons

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