The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

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University of Texas Press, Mar 1, 2010 - Philosophy
61 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.

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Review: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

User Review  - Tara deCamp - Goodreads

One of the best theoretical works on novel, language, and narrative. I read this at the same time I was reading a few Russian classics, and I think reading them simultaneously helped me understand ... Read full review

Review: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

User Review  - Goodreads

One of the best theoretical works on novel, language, and narrative. I read this at the same time I was reading a few Russian classics, and I think reading them simultaneously helped me understand ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Caryl Emerson is A. Watson Armour III Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University.

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