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The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by…

The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

by Mikhail Bakhtin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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983613,968 (4.24)9
These essays reveal Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975)--known in the West largely through his studies of Rabelais and Dostoevsky--as a philosopher of language, a cultural historian, and a major theoretician of the novel. The Dialogic Imagination presents, in superb English translation, four selections from Voprosy literatury i estetiki (Problems of literature and esthetics), published in Moscow in 1975. The volume also contains a lengthy introduction to Bakhtin and his thought and a glossary of terminology. Bakhtin uses the category "novel" in a highly idiosyncratic way, claiming for it vastly larger territory than has been traditionally accepted. For him, the novel is not so much a genre as it is a force, "novelness," which he discusses in "From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse." Two essays, "Epic and Novel" and "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel," deal with literary history in Bakhtin's own unorthodox way. In the final essay, he discusses literature and language in general, which he sees as stratified, constantly changing systems of subgenres, dialects, and fragmented "languages" in battle with one another.… (more)
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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
One of my favorites. This book is the foundational text for my thesis. ( )
  adventdavid2 | May 7, 2019 |
Bakhtin's theory of heteroglossia (or multi-voicedness) in the novel has had a huge impact on twentieth-century literary theory. This book collects four of his most important essays, including "Discourse in the Novel," an encyclopedic essay that surveys different types of heteroglossia in novels from ancient, medieval, and modern epochs. He makes some statements about the monological qualities of poetic discourse that seem unfounded; I kept needing to remind myself that he was talking about archaic genres of poetry like the epic, and not necessarily the modern lyric. Still, these are fascinating essays, and really provide an important foundation for a lot of contemporary narratological theory. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Bakhtin's dialogical theory of language is a brilliant influence on critical and discourse theory today. ( )
  petescisco | Nov 11, 2014 |
Bakhtin was a breath of fresh air for me after reading people like Foucault and Barthes and Derrida. He seemed to make a lot more sense. ( )
1 vote theonetruesteph | Mar 30, 2013 |
Bakhtin has some interesting thoughts. Used this book to support thesis in college regarding the small-town chornotope in Stephen King's novels.
  lalaland | Feb 9, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mikhail Bakhtinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holquist, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is nothing more fragile than the word, and Bakhtin's was almost lost. This translation is dedicated to those devoted Russian scholars who gave so generously of themselves to Mikhail Mikhailovich the man and to the cause of preserving dialogue.
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EPIC AND NOVEL / Toward a Methodology for the Study of the Novel /

The study of the novel as a genre is distinguished by peculiar difficulties. This is due to the unique nature of the object itself: the novel is the sole genre that continues to develop, that is as yet uncompleted.

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