Using Mikhal Bakhtin's concept of dialogism as a theoretical starting point, this volume investigates the manifestations of competing 'voices' within the tradition of lyric poetry. The lyric subject's understanding of himself/herself - through the very act of speaking/writing - is irrevocably connected, on multiple levels, to the heard and unheard voices of others. No matter how 'private' the voice of the lyric speaker appears to be, nearly every utterance is formed from and then positioned between what others have said or will say.Included here are essays on the classical, medieval, early modern, and modern lyric. Some of the essays engage Bakhtin 'head-on'; others by focusing explicitly on the construction of the subject through multiple discursive dialogues, implicitly bring Bakhtin to bear. These essays engage multiple elements of dialogism, including the convergence of masculine and feminine voices, public and private discourse, intertextuality and the 'voices of the past', the dialogue between literature and art, and the always present dialogue between speaker(s) and reader(s).
Jacob Blevins is Associate Professor of English at McNeese State University.
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