The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Comparative Literature
This magnificently edited and translated volume can be the beginning of a dialogue that will go beyond the monographic works of Bakhtin available in English up to now.
— Edward Wasiolek
Comparative Literature - Edward Wasiolek
This magnificently edited and translated volume can be the beginning of a dialogue that will go beyond the monographic works of Bakhtin available in English up to now.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292715349
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1982
  • Series: Slavic Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 444
  • Sales rank: 367,399
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Translation
Introduction
Epic and Novel
From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse
Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel
Discourse in the Novel
Glossary
Index
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Bakhtin proclaims the dominance of the novel as a genre, and the difficulty of strictly defining its hegemony because of its tendency to envelop other genres. Later he discusses literature and language in general, and how it continually is changed by other systems such as subgenres, dialects, and infinitely fragmented languages constantly in "dialogue" with each other.

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