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Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso

On-line version ISSN 2176-4573

Bakhtiniana, Rev. Estud. Discurso vol.15 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2020  Epub Nov 28, 2019 


Between Hidden and Open Polemics

Beth Brait*

Maria Helena Cruz Pistori**

Bruna Lopes-Dugnani***

Orison Marden Bandeira de Melo Júnior****

*Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - PUCSP, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Faculdade de Filosofia, Comunicação e Artes - FAFICLA, Departamento de Linguística; Universidade de São Paulo - USP, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; CNPq;;

**Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - PUCSP/ Associate Editor of Bakhtiniana. Revista de Estudos do Discurso, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil;;

***Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco - UFRPE, Unidade Acadêmica de Serra Talhada, Serra Talhada, Pernambuco, Brazil;;

****Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte - UFRN, Centro de Ciências Humanas, Letras e Artes, Departamento de Línguas e Literaturas Estrangeiras Modernas, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil;;

The ‘post-truth’ world [...] shows total disregard for even visible and verifiable facts and hence any consideration for truth seems far-fetched. Unlike the ‘world of lies’ that knows the truth and conceals it with lies, the post-truth world freely distorts truth in ‘anything goes’ approach.

Lakshmi Bandlamudi1

Every ideological field uses language, but each one does it in its own way.

Mikhail Bakhtin2

[...] to read is to make our body work [...] at the invitation of text's signs, of all the languages that traverse it [...]

Roland Barthes3

Many Brazilian and global events have surprised and shocked us in recent times. Those events are amplified by the virtual universe. Boundaries between public and private spaces and events become blurred and we start inhabiting a world of “post-truth,” as many say. Among them we find Lakshmi Bandlamudi, whose words are also present in this editorial’s first epigraph (2019, p.184).

The reduced appreciation for scientific knowledge is one of the shocking aspects of our present reality, which has caused us, from scientific and academic spheres, distress. For this reason, Bakhtiniana’s introductory texts published in the latest issues reminded readers of “this difficult moment for Brazilian research, Brazilian research development agencies, CNPq [Brazilian National Research Council], in particular, and for education in Brazil, in general.” We are also aware that our research studies, carried out in the Humanities and Social sciences, are among those whose importance, perhaps, is less perceived and understood by the general public. This is why Bakhtiniana reaffirms its commitment to quality science, publishing articles that show the responsibility and responsiveness of their authors in relation to this reality and the languages that embody it.

Bakhtin (2016, p.139) states that “every ideological field uses language, but each one does it in its own way.”4 Thus, as we read the seven articles and the interview published in this issue, we come to understand that their objects of study belong to different ideological spheres, such as web posts, photojournalism, public protests, literature and its teaching, and the very discourse of science. However, regardless of their different perspectives, they base their studies on different trends of discourse studies and on a dialogue between them.

The first three articles offer reflections on aspects of our contemporary reality, providing us with an enriching reading of it. Eliane Fernandes Azzari, Maria de Fátima Silva Amarante, Eliane Righi de Andrade, who are all researchers from PUC-Campinas/SP, author “It’s True This Notte”: Dialogic Relations and/in Discourse in the Cyberspace. Mainly grounded on the dialogic perspective and on Foucauldian understanding about the will to truth, it analyzes a note, written by a 5-year-old child. It shows the dialogue between online universes and offline events and interprets the replicas and axiological positions that stemmed from that post that went viral on Facebook. Following this article, Ângela Cristina Salgueiro Marques (UFMG) and Luís Mauro Sá Martino (Faculdade Cásper Líbero, SP) analyze an important aspect of photojournalism: the way the photographic framing engenders the biopolitical framing of impoverished citizens and women in the context of the implementation of social policies. In the article Between the Decent and the Precarious: A Biopolitical Framework of Women in Journalistic Photographs about the Bolsa-Família Program, the authors present the press production of narratives in photographs that capture ways of life that are considered “dignified” or not.

Photojournalism is also the subject of another text: The Concept of Verbal-visual Quotation Marks and their Classifications, written by Rodolfo Vianna (PUC-SP). The article aims to contribute to language studies, presenting a new theoretical-methodological instrument for the analysis of the verbal-visual dimension of utterances and their forms of meaning production. Paolo Demuru (UNIP-SP) is the author of Between Accidents and Explosions: Indeterminacy and Aesthesia in the Becoming of History. Based on the concepts of accident (E. Landowski) and explosion (J. Lotman), first the author compares them and outlines a theoretical-methodological synthesis between them. Next, he seeks to demonstrate its relevance and importance in the analysis of the Brazilian protests of June 2013 and their impact on the electoral process that followed them.

Bakhtin (1986, p.111) states that “to see and comprehend the author of a work means to see and comprehend another, alien consciousness and its world, that is, another subject.”5 We study literature from this standpoint. We can also understand the article Other Quixotes - Notes on the Discourse in Cervantes and Borges from this standpoint. The article, authored by Newton de Castro Pontes and Edson Soares Martin from Universidade Regional do Cariri - URCA (Crato City, Ceará State, Brazil), is based on the Bakhtinian studies on discourse in the novel. In it, they establish a dialogue between Cervantes’ Dom Quixote and Jorge Luis Borges’ short story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote. Futhermore, the authors end their discussion by showing how Bakhtinian theory itself also partially reproduces Quixote’s peculiar perspective.

Once again focusing on literature, but from the point of view of education, Debora Ventura Klayn Nascimento (UFRJ) writes Literary Readers’ Education: Possible Dialogues between Conceptions of the Bakhtin Circle and Textbook Activities. The educator (and researcher) embraces the Circle’s conceptions, especially the concepts of dialogism and responsiveness, intending to contribute to the unlearning of practices regarding the approach to literary reading in school.

Irene Machado’s (USP) important essay titled Refractions of Reported Speech as a Discursive Episteme in Verbal Creativity completes the section of articles. We need theory to describe, analyze, and interpret discourses. Theory must be reflected upon, developed and deepened. Science offers us the lenses that allow us to read and understand discourses and reality, but it is always making and remaking itself. It is in this sense that Machado’s text values and takes up the critical analysis of V. N. Voloshinov regarding the processes of discourse transmission, understanding the ideologeme and the active reaction to the discourse of the other as a new discursive episteme in dialogic studies.

The last text of this issue is the translation of an interview. Perhaps few of our Brazilian readers know Lakshmi Bandlamudi, professor of Psychology at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. She is the author of Dialogics of Self, The Mahabharata and Culture: The History of Understanding and Understanding of History, among other works. Anselmo Lima (Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná), who introduces her to us and, together with Miriam Ruffini Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná), translate an interview she gives to Thomas Fink (LaGuardia Community College, City of New York) about her book Difference, Dialogue, and Development: a Bakhtinian World. As Lima tells us, Lakshmi presents an original position in her reading of Bakhtinian and Vygotskyan works. And, in the interview, she addresses current and sensitive political issues in the US scenario, which, by analogy, can be found in the context of Brazil and the world today.

“[...] to read is to make our body work [...] at the invitation of text’s signs, of all the languages that traverse it [...]” (BARTHES, 2004, p.31).6 It is precisely for this activity that we invite the reader to this issue of Bakhtiniana. The number of submissions and their rigorous selection by competent reviewers (ad hoc and members of our board of reviewers) allowed us to have this excellent result: Bakhtiniana remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting dialogical possibilities between national and international research devoted to language studies. In this sense, we are immensely grateful for the precious support, assistance and recognition from MCTI [Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation]/CNPq [Brazilian National Research Council]/MEC [The Brazilian Ministry of Education]/ CAPES [Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education] and PUC-SP, through their Plano de Incentivo à Pesquisa [Research Incentive Plan] (PIPEq) / Publicação de Periódicos [Journal Publication] (PubPer-PUCSP) - 2019.


BAKHTIN, M. O texto na linguística, na filologia e em outras ciências humanas. In: BAKHTIN, M. Os gêneros do discurso. Trad. Paulo Bezerra. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2016, p.71-107. [ Links ]

BAKHTIN, M. Diálogo II. In: BAKHTIN, M. Os gêneros do discurso. Trad. Paulo Bezerra. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2016, p.125-150. [ Links ]

BANDLAMUDI, L. Thomas Fink entrevista Lakshmi Bandlamudi: Difference, Dialogue and Development: a Bakhtinian World. Tradução de Anselmo Lima e Miriam Ruffini. In: Bakhtiniana. Revista de Estudos do Discurso. São Paulo, Vol. 15, n.1, jan./fev./mar. 2020, p.180-197. [ Links ]

BARTHES, R. Escrever a leitura. In: O rumor da língua. Trad. Mario Laranjeiras. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2004, p.26-29. [ Links ]

1T.N. In English, the full content of the interview with Lakshmi Bandlamudi conducted by Thomas Fink is available at: []. Accessed Oct. 25, 2019.

2Our translation. In Brazilian Portuguese: “Todos os campos da ideologia usam a língua, mas cada um a seu modo” (BAKHTIN, 2016, p.139).

3BARTHES, R. Writing Reading. In: The Rustle of Language. Translated by Richard Howard. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989, pp.29-32.

4For the excerpt in Brazilian Portuguese, see footnote 1. T.N. There is no English version of Bakhtin’s text titled Dialogue II, which was originally published in Russia in 1997 in volume 5 of the Collected Works of Bakhtin (Russkie Slovari Editor). In Brazil it was published in the volume Os gêneros do discurso [Discourse genres] by Ed. 34. [BAKHTIN, M. Os gêneros do discurso. Trad. Paulo Bezerra. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2016, pp.125-150. ]

5BAKHTIN, M. M. The Problem of the Text in Linguistics, Philology, and the Human Sciences: An Experiment in Philosophical Analysis. In: Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Translated by Vern W. MCGee and edited by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986, pp.103-131.

6For full reference, see footnote 2.

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