Dialogue and Literature: Apostrophe, Auditors, and the Collapse of Romantic Discourse

Synopsis

Extending and reframing the works of Bakhtin, Gadamer, Ong, and Foucault--with particular emphasis on Bakhtin's late essays --Macovski constructs a theoretical model of literary dialogue and applies it to a range of Romantic texts. In reconsidering specific works within the context of cultural heuristics, rhetorical theory, and literary history, Macovski redefines Romantic discourse as both extratextual and agonistic. He thereby re-evaluates such Romantic topics as the history of the autotelic self, the proliferation of lyric orality, and the nineteenth-century critique of rhetoric. He examines poetry by Wordsworth and Coleridge, as well as such nineteenth-century prose works as Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, and Heart of Darkness.