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

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Extending and modifying the works of Bakhtin, Gadamer, Ong, and Foucault - though drawing primarily on Bakhtin's theory of dialogue - Macovski constructs a theoretical model of `dialogic romanticism' and applies it to a range of Romantic texts. Literary discourse is seen as a composite of voices - interactive voices which are not only contained within the literary text but extend beyond it, to other works, authors, interpretations, and discourses. Macovski holds that varieties of dialogic forms and meanings are particularly pronounced during the Romantic epoch, and accordingly traces the manifestations of dialogues within Romantic discourse, beginning with Wordsworth and Coleridge and extending to those nineteenth-century prose works most often treated as `Romantic': Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, and Heart of Darkness.