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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


A term used by Mikhail Bakhtin to describe how a literary work may incorporate a rich variety and multiplicity of voices, styles, and points of view. Unlike a monological text, which depends on the centrality of a single authoritative voice, the dialogical text allows for "a plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices."

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997