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UTEL

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

Polyphonic novel:

A term used by Mikhail Bakhtin to describe a dialogical text which, unlike a monological text, does not depend on the centrality of a single authoritative voice. Such a text incorporates a rich plurality and multiplicity of voices, styles, and points of view. It comprises, in Bakhtin's phrase, "a plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices." (See also Dialogism.)


© 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