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Imaginary Dialogues in English : Explorations of a Literary Form

The essays in this volume provide exemplary readings of dialogical texts in English literature and philosophy, combining literary, linguistic, and philosophical scholarship. Plato’s and other ancient writers’ use of dialogue as literary form inspired many writers from Thomas More, George Berkeley, Jonathan Swift and Bernard Mandeville to Walter Savage Landor, W. H. Mallock, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Samuel Beckett, Philip Roth or Roger Scruton. From Early Modern literature and philosophy to the periods of the Enlightenment and Romanticism, this volume stresses the importance of imaginary dialogues by providing wide-ranging overviews and detailed textual analyses. Discussions of the dialogical form in Victorianism, Modernism, and Post-Modernism further extend the study to more recent major examples of the multiple functions of imaginary dialogues. Drawing on a wealth of material, this book will appeal to everyone with an interest in the complexities of literary and philosophical dialogues. The volume contains contributions by Christoph Ehland, Till Kinzel, Anja Merbitz, Jürgen Meyer, Jarmila Mildorf, Heinz-Joachim Müllenbrock, Virgil Nemoianu, Christoph Schubert, Hans Ulrich Seeber, Horst Seidl, Michael Szczekalla, and Bronwen Thomas.