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Dialogue and LiteratureApostrophe, Auditors, and the Collapse of Romantic Discourse$
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Michael Macovski

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195069655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195069655.001.0001

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Knowledge, Rhetoric, and Authority: Toward a Theory of Romantic Dialogue

Knowledge, Rhetoric, and Authority: Toward a Theory of Romantic Dialogue

(p.2) (p.3) 1 Knowledge, Rhetoric, and Authority: Toward a Theory of Romantic Dialogue
Dialogue and Literature

Michael Macovski

Oxford University Press

The book opens with a definition of literary discourse and its transcendental quality that bridges fictional characters, authors, interpretations, and readers across time and cultures. This chapter attempts to develop a social model of literary dialogue in the Romantic epoch, partly based on Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogue. In contrast with traditional Romantic discourse, which is essentially solipsistic, external interactions of the self are emphasized and dialogue expanded to provide a wider, more holistic view. This is supported by the frequent use of poetic tools, such as the rhetoric of apostrophe in Romantic literature, to provide multiple perspectives. The role of the literary auditor as one of the crucial external voices that enable the rhetoric of interaction is also discussed. This complex interrelationship between the Romantic “self” and external voices is manifested in Romantic literature, samples of which are studied in the succeeding chapters.

Keywords:   literary discourse, Mikhail Bakhtin, dialogue, literary auditor, apostrophe, external voice, self

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