The dialogic imagination: four essays

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, 1981 - Literary Criticism - 444 pages
34 Reviews

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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
13
4 stars
14
3 stars
5
2 stars
2
1 star
0

Review: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

User Review  - Zizi - Goodreads

Difficult to sail through and needs tons of time to grasp and digest well but worths reading! Read full review

Review: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

Foundational text from Bakhtin covering issues of the dialogic, heteroglossia, the grotesque body, the carnivalesque, the chronotope, and the construction of the epic and the novel. (Re-read 2014 for doctoral work). Read full review

Contents

Epic and Novel
3
From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse 41
41
Discourse in the Novel 259
259
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1981)

Mikhail Bakhtin was born on November 17, 1895 in Orel, Russia. He attended the University of Petrograd from 1913 to 1918, where he studied classics and philology. After graduation, he taught, wrote, and developed many of his theories. From 1945 to 1961, Bakhtin taught at the Mordovia Teachers Training College. He continued to publish works and develop theories such as that of dialogics, which contends that language evolves dynamically and both shapes and is shaped by culture. The theories are explored in Art and Answerability and The Dialogic Imagination. Bakhtin wrote several of his early works under the pseudonyms of his friends P.N. Medvedev and V.N. Voloshinov. He was persecuted under the Stalin regime for his philosophies and sentenced to six years imprisonment. A bone disease that ultimately forced the amputation of his right leg in 1938 further complicated his troubles. Bakhtin died on March 7, 1975.