This interdisciplinary volume of collected, mostly unpublished essays demonstrates how Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogic meaning--and its subsequent elaborations--have influenced a wide range of critical discourses. With essays by Michael Holquist, Jerome J. McGann, John Searle, Deborah Tannen, Gary Saul Morson, Caryl Emerson, Shirley Brice Heath, Don H. Bialostosky, Paul Friedrich, Timothy Austin, John Farrell, Rachel May, and Michael Macovski, the collection explores dialogue not only as an exchange among intratextual voices, but as an extratextual interplay of historical influences, oral forms, and cultural heuristics as well. Such approaches extend the implications of dialogue beyond the boundaries of literary theory, to anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, and cultural studies. The essays address such issues as the establishment and exercise of political power, the relation between conversational and literary discourse, the historical development of the essay, and the idea of literature as social action. Taken together, the essays argue for a redefinition of literary meaning--one that is communal, interactive, and vocatively created. They demonstrate that literary meaning is not rendered by a single narrator, nor even by a solitary author--but is incrementally exchanged and constructed.