Combined Academic Publishers

The Dialogic Imagination

9780292715349: Paperback
Release Date: 1st January 1982

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 480

Series University of Texas Press Slavic Series

University of Texas Press

The Dialogic Imagination

Four Essays

Written by
M. M. Bakhtin
Edited by
Michael Holquist
Translated by
Caryl Emerson
Michael Holquist
Paperback / £19.99

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.

  • 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

Michael Holquist is a professor of comparative literature and Slavic studies at Yale University.

"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