dialogics. An influential concept developed by the Soviet linguist and critic, Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) and the 'Bakhtin School.' The Bakhtinian theory of language can be understood as both a contemporary critique of the dehistoricizing model developed by Ferdinand de Saussure and adopted in the structuralism of the 1960s, and as anticipating later theories of discourse. In this model, linguistic utterances are seen as engaged in a simultaneously verbal and ideological dialogue and as thus implicated in the unequal distribution of power, caught in a pull towards unitary, official discourse and opinion. Bakhtin wrote: "Discourse lives on the boundary between its own context and another, alien context." He saw the literary form of the novel, broadly understood, as especially exploiting this double-life of interacting and contesting discourses, and finds in Dostoevsky, in particular, an example of the 'polyphonic' novel, where the author's characters "are capable of standing beside their creator, of disagreeing with him, and of even rebelling against him." As this suggests, the thrust of dialogics is to open discourse to the alien and subordinated and thus to unsettle and discountenance authority. This is achieved, above all, through the use of parody and satire for which Bakhtin finds a precedent in the serio-comic genre of the late Roman Mennippean satire and the ironic form of the Socratic dialogue where popular opinion is exposed to free investigation. But the anti-authoritarian impulse of satire, irony, and parody is given its fullest reign, for Bakhtin, in Rabelais, where the world of the body and the vernacular of the lower orders are simultaneously liberated in a chorus of belly laughs at up-ended officialdom. This dismantling of the hierarchies of social and linguistic convention Bakhtin termed the 'carnivalesque.'