What is the most effective way to memorize and understand new topics?
I believe that the most effective way to memorize and understand new topics is to discuss them someone else. I find that finding a partner to quiz me and discuss the topic I'm studying is the most effective way to master new topics.
“A plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousness, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices is, in fact, the chief characteristics of Dostoevsky’s novels,” writes Bakhtin. How does this polyphony undermine and or support Dostoevsky’s novelistic experiences?
Dostoevsky’s novels are notoriously hard to examination. There have been numerous different stances and theories about the purpose and structure of his work. When Crime and Punishment were first published, there were two opposing, and equally disapproving, camps. There were the conservatives, who believed that the work should not be dismissed due to its ideological issues. There were the radical critics, who believed that the novel presented an accurate portrayal of social conditions. Analysis of the novel has evolved from there, but it was not until fairly recently that, the basic structure of the novel was analyzed. However, as Bahkin discusses, in his article Polyphonic Novel and Its Treatment in Critical Literature, both camps failed to understand the basic structure of the novel. Thus, they analyzed it as “a fundamentally monologic European novel” (Bahktin, 8), something that it is most definitely not. It is a polyphonic novel, where there are “ a plurality of consciousnesses, with equal rights and each with its own world” (Bahkin,6). This polyphony is a vital aspect of all of Dostoevsky’s work; it creates a unique world for the interaction of characters. At the same time, this polyphony works to both undermine certain sections of his work while supporting others.
How did the Roman conquest of Continental Europe south of the Rhine affect the native cultures in the region?
The Roman Empire stands in history as one of most powerful regimes of human memory, in terms of both military force and cultural influence. Aspects of Roman culture can be seen across the Western world to this day, from government buildings styled after the great buildings of Rome and to the use of their administrative techniques. Roman culture was a powerful force to be reckoned with, but despite its influence, culture across Roman territory was not uniform. Gaul, a Roman province that encompassed what is today France, Belgium, parts of Northern Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany up to the Rhine, is a prime example of a societal evolution to a Romanized colony (Gaul Wikipedia). The process of cultural transformation of the newly conquered territories was dubbed ‘Romanization’, a process of top-down transformation with the Romans forcing their culture upon the new members of the Empire. While it has since been suggested that the term creolization is a more appropriate term to describe the cultural transformation that occurred across the Roman territories affecting both parties, the changing of terms doesn’t change the fact that these colonies were integrated into the Roman Empire (Webster 2001). Throughout this process, there were changes as well as continuities in aspects such as religion, the architecture of “military camps, urban centers, public buildings, baths, villas, and pottery” (Wells 1999, 148). As Greg Woolf puts it “Europe was like a series of rock pools over which waves crashed…but left tiny micro-environments, the same in broad features, but unique in detail”(Woolf 1997, 343). The Roman culture was not fixed; it was a fluid repertoire whose styles and practices were continually changing (Webster 2001, 210).