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Thomas G. Pavel - The Lives of the Novel: A History. (2013 hdbk, 2015 obk) | Princeton University Press
This is a bold and original original history of the novel from ancient Greece to the vibrant world of contemporary fiction. In this wide-ranging survey, Pavel argues that the driving force behind the novel's evolution has been a rivalry between stories that idealize human behavior and those that ridicule and condemn it. Impelled by this conflict, the novel moved from depicting strong souls to sensitive hearts and, finally, to enigmatic psyches. Pavel analyzes more than a hundred novels from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and beyond, resulting in a provocative reinterpretation of its development. According to Pavel, the earliest novels were implausible because their characters were either perfect or villainous. In the 18thC and 19thC, novelists strove for greater credibility by describing the inner lives of ideal characters in minute detail (as in Richardson's case), or by closely examining the historical and social environment (as Scott and Balzac did). Yet the earlier rivalry continued: Fielding held the line against idealism, defending the comic tradition with its flawed characters, while Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot offered a rejoinder to social realism with their idealized vision of strong, generous, and sensitive women. In the twentieth century, modernists like Proust and Joyce sought to move beyond this conflict and capture the enigmatic workings of the psyche. Pavel concludes his compelling account by showing how the old tensions persist even within today's pluralism, as popular novels about heroes coexist with a wealth of other kinds of works, from satire to social and psychological realism. -- Prof. of French, Comparative Literature, and Social Thought at the U. of Chicago, also "Fictional Worlds" and "The Spell of Language." -- downloaded introduction to Note
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june 2015 by dunnettreader
Ilan Stavans - One Master, Many Cervantes | HUMANITIES, September/October 2008
By Ilan Stavans | HUMANITIES, September/October 2008 | Volume 29, Number 5 Don Quixote de la Mancha is a book for all seasons: esteemed, even venerated by…
lit_crit  literary_history  17thC  Cervantes  novels  canon  translation  Instapaper  from instapaper
april 2015 by dunnettreader

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