Now that pragmatics is a familiar part of linguistics, students of language might well be underwhelmed by such instances and what they imply, but Kristeva was speaking at a time when, and in a place where, the role inferences like this “because” play in our interpretations was not clearly recognized. The langue/parole distinction, along with the disastrous treatment of “language” as equivalent to “code”, still entranced attempts to think about communication. The specific cognitive environments in which utterances are exchanged were thought foreign to the systematicity of langue, and systematicity had been laid down as a prerequisite for semiological science. It was awkward for Kristeva to admit how emphatically Bakhtin specified dialogism as something which happens between individuals. He does so when commenting on real, spoken “rejoinders in dialogue” or on the manner of a fictional text: “dialogic reaction personifies every utterance to which it responds”; Dostoevsky’s writing has a “mouth”, casts “verbal sideward glances”; in every phrase and, what’s more, between the phrases, “a person is wholly present”.
"Igitur lies down in his tomb, for a poetry divorced from meaning is ultimately suicidal." -- Rosanna Warren
Burger's dialectical criticism, emering from a philosophical and sociological tradition in debate with Hegel, Marx, Lukács, Adorno, and Benjamin, is essentially concerned with the structure of society and with ideologies that express that structure. For him, "one question moves to the center of literary interpretation, the question concerning the social function of literary works." The most frequently recurrent phrase in his book on the avant-garde is "bourgeois society," and that fact shows where his real interest lies: with society, not with art. His angle of vision allows him some keen observations: "In bourgeois society, it is only with aestheticism that the full unfolding of the phenomenon of art became a fact, and it is to aestheticism that the historical avant-garde movements respond." Furthermore, in the course of the nineteenth century, with the dominance of the bourgeoisie "the corm-content dialectic of artistic structure has increasingly shifted in favor of form." And, "with the historical avant-garde movements, the social subsystem that is art enters the stage of self-criticism." There is truth in all these statements, but an inadequate truth for anyone who does not believe that art is a "social subsystem." My own vision differs fundamentally from Burger's. I believe that art is not (only) a symptom of social systems, nor (only) a language of protest - failed or not - in relation to a social system, but a mode of inquiry with its own authority and vocabularies of forms developed over the ages. To relegate art to the merely "aesthetic" is to refuse to recognize its powers of radical analysis and representation. As I do not accept class structure as the key determinant of reality, I object to seeing art subordinated to philosophy and sociology and their claims of "science" (another word Burger uses frequently). Let us turn the tables and see philosophy and sociology subordinated to art's quest for reality. Burger himself quotes form Schiller's "On the Aesthetic Education of Man," a far more comprehensive statement of the role of art: "We must be at liberty to restore by means of a higher Art this wholeness in our nature which Art has destroyed."
Henri Meschonnic writes much more intimately of art than Burger does, from within the practices of poetry and poetics. Linguistics and philosophy, instead of sociology, give him his tools of analysis. His Modernité modernité is dedicated to rescuing an enduringly innovative impulse in the arts from historicism and academicism: "Modernity is an effect of language - of discourse. It is history as discourse. It is irreducible to historicism, which would imprison it in the means of production of an epoch. An epoch of meaning."
-- Warren, from a note to her essay, "Mallarmé and Max Jacob: A Tale of Two Dice Cups"