Le Carnavalesque: La Passion Par Rapport à la Theorie de Mikhail Bakhtin

  • Jennifer L Montesi College of Arts & Science


According to the theory of Mikhail Bakhtin, the carnival of the Middle Ages and Renaissance played a significant role in medieval culture because it permitted the expression of the carnival spirit, a fundamental tendency of humanity that was hidden from public view in daily activities. In contrast with the ordinary life of mankind, the carnival world was a “second world” and “upside-down world” where laws, social structure, and religious authority ceased to exist. It was a place for unadulterated passion where free and familiar contact between individuals and exceptional creativity promoted the formation of new modes of communication and personal relationships. The expression of carnival spirit was necessary for the survival of humanity such that, upon the demise of the carnival, the same passionate desires of the carnival were transferred to the domain of literature and art. Through an examination of menippean literature, as well as the collective works of Francois Rabelais and Fyodor Dostoevsky, this article provides extensive support in favor of the carnival’s influence on literary works that surrounded the demise of the carnival in popular culture.

Author Biography

Jennifer L Montesi, College of Arts & Science
Jennifer L. Montesi is a fourth-year student majoring in French, Psychology, and Comparative Literature in the College of Arts & Science. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she is the recipient of the Department of French and Italian’s Edwin S. Gardner Award and is consistently honored on the Dean’s List. Her academic studies in the French language are highlighted by service as President of the Pi Delta Phi Honors Society and her study abroad experience in Aix-en-Provence. At present, Montesi serves as Undergraduate Lab Assistant in the Department of Psychology and will be graduating this year with High Departmental Honors in French. She will conduct psychiatric research for the next two years as Research Assistant at the Nathan Kline Institute in Scarsdale, New York before seeking admission to a doctoral program in clinical psychology.
How to Cite
MONTESI, Jennifer L. Le Carnavalesque: La Passion Par Rapport à la Theorie de Mikhail Bakhtin. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 1, may 2005. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <http://vurj.vanderbilt.edu/index.php/vurj/article/view/2727>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v1i0.2727.
Humanities and Social Sciences


Mikhail Bakhtin