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A Not-So-Final Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This concluding chapter discusses the concept of different levels of dialogue. Bakhtin's central concept of dialogue sees characters as voice sources in the text. Three different levels of dialogue are noted, first-level dialogue, occurring between interindividual characters, second-level dialogue occurring primarily between the text and the hearing-reader, and third-level dialogue occurring co-textually and inter-textually among texts to give an indication of generic contacts. Thus, from first-level dialogue, character can be viewed as open-ended constructs which function interindividually, and which draw the (implied) reader to the threshold also. Third-level dialogue, occurring with inter-textual or co-textual references, is the point at which issues of genre and chronotopicity become significant. It is necessary to find an approach that recognises the importance of genre-related questions, while also recognising historical dimensions.

Keywords: Bakhtin's central concept; first-level dialogue; second-level dialogue; third-level dialogue



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