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The genre making of Restoration fiction

Novel horizons analyses how narrative prose fiction developed during the English Restoration. It argues that following the reopening of the theatres in 1660, generic changes within dramatic texts occasioned an intense debate within prologues and introductions. This discussion about the poetics of a genre was echoed in the paratextual material of prose fictions: in trans¬lators’ introductions, authorial prefaces, and other accompanying material. In the absence of an official poetics that defined prose fiction, paratexts ful¬filled this function and informed readers about the changing features of the budding genre. This study traces the piecemeal development of these generic boundaries and describes the generic competence of readers through the detailed analysis of paratexts and actual narrative prose fictions. Rather than trying to canonize individual Restoration novels, Novel horizons covers the surviving textual material widely, focusing on narrative prose fictions published between 1660 and 1710. Drawing on genre theories by Jacques Derrida and M.M. Bakhtin, the study follows an approach to genre that sees a textual corpus as an archive that projects into the future, thereby enabling later readers and writers to experiment with forms and themes. In addition to tracing the paratextual poetics of Restoration fiction, a substantial section of this book covers the state of the art of fiction-writing during the period. It discusses aspects such as character development, narrative point of view, and questions of fictionality and realism in order to describe how these features were first used in popular fiction at the time.

Gerd Bayer

Restoration prose works and the eighteenth-century novel. The author of an impressive ten-volume tome, confidently called The History of the English Novel (1924–39), Ernest Baker ranges widely across the European languages, much like Dunlop before him. In his discussion of the early modern novel, he follows the popularity of John Barclay’s Argenis through its multiple translations and duly acknowledges the impact of both Behn and Defoe.6 All such early efforts in the history of the novel must not obliterate the fact that reading and writing about this genre remained a

in Novel horizons
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Making novel readers
Gerd Bayer

fiction, however, the canon seems to be firmly in place; and prose fiction remains excluded from discussions of seventeenth-century literature. Indeed, as William Warner notes with reference to specialist studies on the early history of the novel: ‘Even the most theoretically sophisticated and politically progressive of these recent literary histories return to familiar canonical texts to stage the formation of “the” English novel.’9 It is not for a general lack of insight into the period and its cultural development, though, that Restoration prose fiction fares so

in Novel horizons
Gothic imagery in Dutch feminist fiction
Agnes Andeweg

locates the Gothic novel’s cultural work in establishing kinship relations, provides a way of understanding the monstrous relationships between these female characters. Armstrong reads the history of the novel in terms of the relationship between the modern individual and society. In fact, she equates the two: ‘The history of the novel and the history of the modern subject are

in Gothic kinship
A critical blindspot
Glyn White

history of the novel beginning from Defoe, Richardson and Fielding, had a conception of mimesis which, though ultimately based on classical models, was much more specific in terms of time, place and character, or, in short, detail. As Ian Watt puts it in The Rise of the Novel: ‘Modern realism ... begins from the position that truth can be discovered by the individual through his senses: it has its

in Reading the graphic surface
Reading Robinson Crusoe in colonial New Zealand
Jane Stafford

, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams (eds), The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 9: The World Novel to 1950 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 15. 9 Anon, ‘What Do the People Read?’, New Zealand Spectator and Cook Strait Guardian (25 March 1854), p. 4. 10 ‘What Do the People Read?’, p. 4. 11 Charlotte Macdonald, ‘Beyond the Realm: The Loss of Culture as the Colonial Condition’, Journal of New Zealand Studies, 12 (2011), 2. 12 Thomas Bracken, ‘A Paper from Home’, collected in Lays of the Land of the Maori and the Moa (London

in Worlding the south
James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922)
Gerry Smyth

family, the centrality of marriage, and the authority of the Father, the novel has, in fact, in many cases harboured and deviously celebrated quite contrary feelings. Very often the novel writes of contracts but dreams of transgressions, and in reading it, the dream tends to emerge more powerfully. (1979: 368) The history of the novel in the nineteenth century alerts us to the absolute centrality of adultery as a constitutional element of the genre.6 James Joyce, Ulysses 73 To revisit the metaphor introduced above in relation to Parnell and Ulysses, we might say

in The Judas kiss
Andrew Teverson

sealed-off and self-sufficient character, when it becomes conscious of itself as only one among other cultures and languages’. 23 According to this reading of the development of the novel, Rushdie’s work, with its energising collision of cultural accents, need not be seen as a radical break in the history of the novel but as a stage in its unfolding, the meeting of cultures in the colonial act of expropriation having created further contexts within which the novel can find ‘ever newer ways to mean ’. 24 In the late 1960s George Steiner

in Salman Rushdie
Abstract only
Peter Barry

. Firstly , feminist criticism became much more eclectic , meaning that it began to draw upon the findings and approaches of other kinds of criticism – Marxism, structuralism, linguistics, and so on. Secondly , it switched its focus from attacking male versions of the world to exploring the nature of the female world and outlook, and reconstructing the lost or suppressed records of female experience. Thirdly , attention was switched to the need to construct a new canon of women's writing by rewriting the history of the novel and of poetry in such a way that neglected

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Abstract only
Christopher D’Addario

, 2018).  3 For instance, it was long assumed that the romances that flooded the print market in the late 1640s and 1650s catered to a partisan audience, as modern readers assiduously detected hidden Royalist ideology in the genre’s allegories and allusions. Steven Zwicker’s work on these books’ reception now suggests that they served a more complex affective purpose for readers on both sides of the political divide; see S. N. Zwicker, ‘Royalist romance?’, in T. Keymer (ed.), The Oxford History of the Novel in English, vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017

in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell