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Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people. Its chief historical origins as narrative, philosophical or didactic device are to be found in classical Greek and Indian literature, in particular in the ancient art of rhetoric. While the dialogue was less important in the nineteenth century than it had been in the eighteenth, it was not extinct. The British author W.H. Mallock employed it successfully in his work "The New Republic," which was explicitly based on Plato's "Republic" and on the writings of Thomas Love Peacock. But the notion of dialogue reemerged in the cultural mainstream in the work of cultural critics such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Paulo Freire, theologians such as Martin Buber, as an existential palliative to counter atomization and social alienation in mass industrial society. (via Freebase)