The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin

The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays

byM. M. BakhtinEditorMichael HolquistTranslated byCaryl Emerson

Paperback | January 1, 1982

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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.

About The Author

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 w...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Dialogic Imagination: Four EssaysFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8.97 × 5.93 × 0.95 inPublished:January 1, 1982Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029271534X

ISBN - 13:9780292715349

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Extra Content

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

From Our Editors

Bakhtin is only now starting to be recognized as one of the most important literary and philosophical theorists of our time, and The Dialogic Imagination brings together some of his most interesting and influential essays. Looking closely at the modern novel, he identifies the forces that guide and shape its particular aesthetic, and then extrapolates to examine the life and role of language in today's society. Carefully edited by Michael Holquist, this is one of the very best editions of Bakhtin's work, and it is one that will bring great pleasure to thoughtful readers.

Editorial Reviews

"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." - Comparative Literature