The dialogic imagination: four essays
University of Texas Press, 1981 - Literary Criticism - 444 pages
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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Review: The Dialogic Imagination: Four EssaysUser 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 EssaysUser 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
Epic and Novel
From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse 41
Discourse in the Novel 259