Dialogue: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Peter Womack


164 pages

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pub: 2011-04-21
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Dialogue is a many-sided critical concept; at once an ancient philosophical genre, a formal component of fiction and drama, a model for the relationship of writer and reader, and a theoretical key to the nature of language. In all its forms, it questions ‘literature’, disturbing the singleness and fixity of the written text with the fluid interactivity of conversation.

In this clear and concise guide to the multiple significance of the term, Peter Womack:

  • outlines the history of dialogue form, looking at Platonic, Renaissance, Enlightenment and Modern examples
  • illustrates the play of dialogue in the many ‘voices’ of the novel, and considers how dialogue works on the stage
  • interprets the influential dialogic theories of Mikhail Bakhtin
  • examines the idea that literary study itself consists of a ‘dialogue’ with the past
  • presents a useful glossary and further reading section.

Practical and thought-provoking, this volume is the ideal starting-point for the exploration of this diverse and fascinating literary form.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements and Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Genre Platonic dialogue Renaissance dialogue Enlightenment Dialogue Modern dialogue 2. Dialogue in the Novel Inverted commas Dialogic language Dialogue into novel The dialogue of languages The ideology of dialogue 3. Dialogue in Drama Bakhtin on drama Pure drama Dialogue as illusion Dialogue as action Impurities of the theatre Epic theatre 4. Dialogue in Literary Studies The Go-Between Understanding as dialogue Tradition and the individual talent The lives of others Getting into conversation Further Reading Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author/Editor

Peter Womack is Professor of Literature and Drama at the University of East Anglia.

About the Series

The New Critical Idiom

The New Critical Idiom is an invaluable series of introductory guides designed to meet the needs of today's students grappling with the complexities of modern critical terminology. Each book in the series provides:

  • A clear, explanatory guide to the use (and abuse) of the term
  • An original and distinctive overview by a leading literary and cultural critic
  • Helpful definitions of the boundaries between the literary and non-literary
  • Basic guidance for the introductory reader in how the term relates to the larger field of cultural representation

With a strong emphasis on clarity, lively debate and the widest possible breadth of examples, The New Critical Idiom is an indispensable guide to key topics in literary studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: