This interdisciplinary volume of collected, unpublished essays demonstrates the importance of the influential Russian formalist Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogic meaning for a wide range of textual problems. The book is organized around three interlocking dimensions of this dialogue: Part I delineates dialogic interactions between voices of a single text; Part II traces such exchanges on an intertextual level; and Part III locates both kinds of exchanges within the dialogue between speakers, authors, and readers. Within this framework, such distinguished scholars as Deborah Tannen, Shirley Brice Heath, and John Searle address questions including rhetorical models for the establishment and exercise of political power, intimacy and understanding in literary speech, polyphonic narrative forms, the relationship between conversational and literary discourse, and the issue of literature as social action. 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 constructed and exchanged.