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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
books  kindle-available  literary_history  literary_theory  lit_crit  novels  fiction  Greek_lit  Latin_lit  Medieval  Renaissance  Cervantes  Fielding  Richardson  Defoe  Scott_Sir_Walter  Balzac  Eliot_George  Proust  satire  cultural_critique  politics-and-literature  cultural_history  sentimentalism  character-fiction  psychology  historical_fiction  realism-literature  Modernism  romances  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
JERRY C. BEASLEY - ENGLISH FICTION IN THE 1740s: SOME GLANCES AT THE MAJOR AND MINOR NOVELS | JSTOR: Studies in the Novel, Vol. 5, No. 2 (summer 1973), pp. 155-175
Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Tobias Smollett reached their first successes in the 1740s, when they burst upon the scene with novels that seemed surprisingly fresh and "new," as indeed their authors claimed they were. Certain aspects of this "newness" have been frequently explored by scholars, who have tried to show how these three authors built upon, and departed from, the practice of their predecessors. But the major novels of the 1740s appeared simultaneously with a great many other works of fiction, both native pieces and foreign works in translation—romances and "novels," "spy" stories and secret histories, feigned "lives," "memoirs," and "histories." By looking at these, we stand to learn a good deal about the initial appeal, and sometimes the methods, of Richardson, Fielding, and Smollett, who were keenly aware of the contemporary scene in prose fiction. In fact, an important measure of these novelists' achievement is the way they were able to exploit several current modes of storytelling in creating ingeniously textured novels that gained great popularity by satisfying the tastes of a very heterogeneous audience, and that managed also to be excitingly original, utterly serious works of art. -- looks quite interesting -- didn't download
article  jstor  literary_history  English_lit  18thC  1740s  popular_culture  print_culture  readership  novels  prose  fiction  Fielding  Richardson  Smollett  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader

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