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Friday, December 02, 2005

series: what do I mean by "dialogue?"

Here is what Merriam-Webster says:

1: a written composition in which two
or more characters are represented as conversing

2a: a conversation between two or more persons; also a similar exchange between
a person and something else (as a computer)

b: an exchange of ideas and opinions
c: a discussion between representatives
of parties to a conflict that is aimed
at resolution

4: a musical composition for two or
more parts suggestive of a conversation.

While this is an adequate description of “dialogue” I want to highlight a few things that I think are essential to recognize about dialogue.
  • it involves more than one person

  • it involves an exchange of ideas

  • it is listening (not hearing) and speaking

  • while it is “aimed at a resolution” it will never achieve a resolution, because a dialogue should build upon itself

  • I think the M-W’s 4th definition is a great way to think of dialogue because music and art is concerned with the process of composition and not about the final project. That is why U2, Phish, Elvis, Mozart, etc. repeatedly played their musical compositions. Each time, in each setting, a new “voice” was added to their dialogue.

    wb:Dialogue is the process of creating a form of communication that relies upon more than one person with a variety of perspectives, which leads towards a richer understanding of each other and oneself.

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