Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin
Russian literary theorist and philosopher. An influential opponent of large-scale systems or theories in literary studies, Bakhtin highlighted the contingent, messy, unfinished unfolding of events, especially as they are revealed in the great realistic novels of the nineteenth century. His leading idea was that of the dialogue, an open-ended and indefinitely extensible form, a process that can never be reduced to a single system. His most important work was Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, originally written in Russian in 1963.