Mikhail Bakhtin: Rhetoric, Poetics, Dialogics, Rhetoricality

SKU: 978-1-60235-725-9

Don Bialostosky

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978-1-60235-725-9 (paperback, $30); 978-1-60235-726-6 (hardcover, $60); 978-1-60235-727-3 (eBook; $20) © 2016 by Parlor Press. 203 pages with index, notes, and bibliography.

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Foregrounding language and the utterance in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and his colleague Valentin Voloshinov, Mikhail Bakhtin: Rhetoric, Poetics, Dialogics, Rhetoricality examines their insights against the background of the classical, predominantly Aristotelian, verbal liberal arts of rhetoric, dialectic, and poetics. First setting Bakhtinian dialogics against a narrow rhetoric aimed at winning over others, it goes on, drawing upon the school's earlier phenomenological and sociological writings, to elaborate a Bakhtinian discourse theory that sees all utterances as rhetorical in an expanded sense and poetry as an imitation of rhetorical utterance.

Bialostosky invents a Bakhtinian dialogic criticism that he situates against such figures as Todorov, Gadamer, Rorty, and Booth and explores the potentials of Bakhtin-School thought for a revitalized rhetorical criticism. He draws parallels between Bakhtin's dialogism and Michael Billig's sophistic sociology and argues the importance of language and history in Bakhtin's earliest work against Morson and Emerson's emphasis on ethics. He sets Aristotelian rhetoric against Bakhtin's discourse theory and reads Aristotle's Poetics against the grain to bring out its category of "thought" or dianoia as a site from which a Bakhtinian poetics of utterance can be recovered. A compilation and extension of more than thirty years' work on the Bakhtin School, Mikhail Bakhtin: Rhetoric, Poetics, Dialogics, Rhetoricality demonstrates the rich implications of Bakhtin's works for rhetorical theory, practice, and understanding.

About the Author

An early adopter of Bakhtin School ideas, Don Bialostosky first mobilized them to rehabilitate Wordsworth's narrative experiments in Making Tales (Chicago 1984) and extended them to rethink his lyric poetry and the critics who wrote about them in Wordsworth, Dialogics, and the Practice of Criticism (Cambridge 1992). Participant in the first international Bakhtin conferences in the early 1980s and contributor to the first bibliographies of the Bakhtin Newsletter, he introduced Bakhtin to a CCCC convention in 1984 and published the first article on Bakhtin in PMLA in 1986. His forthcoming book How to Play a Poem from the University of Pittsburgh Press brings Bakhtin School poetics to a pedagogy for poetry. Rhetoric has been on his radar since his undergraduate studies in the Analysis of Ideas and the Study of Methods at Chicago, where his engagement with the art was reinforced by graduate work with Wayne Booth, to whose memory this volume is dedicated. He has taught at the Universities of Utah and Washington, at Stony Brook and Toledo and Penn State. Currently he is Professor in the Composition, Literacy, Pedagogy, and Rhetoric track and Chair of the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh.


Abbreviations Used in Text and Notes
1. Introduction

Part I. Dialogics, Rhetoric, Criticism
2. Dialogics as an Art of Discourse
3. Booth, Bakhtin, and the Culture of Criticism
4. Rhetoric, Literary Criticism, Theory, and Bakhtin
5. Bakhtin and Rhetorical Criticism
6. Antilogics, Dialogics, and Sophistic Social Psychology

Part II. Architectonics, Poetics, Rhetoricality, Liberal Education
7. Bakhtin's "Rough Draft"
8. Architectonics, Rhetoric, and Poetics in the Bakhtin School's Early Phenomenological and Sociological Texts
9. Aristotle's Rhetoric and Bakhtin's Discourse Theory
10. Rereading the Place of Rhetoric in Aristotle's Poetics in Light of Bakhtin's Discourse Theory: Rhetoric as Dianoia, Poetics as an Imitation of Rhetoric
11. Liberal Education, Writing, and the Dialogic Self
Works Cited
About the Author

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