Novel

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book.

The entire genre has been seen as having "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years",[1] with its origins in classical Greece and Rome, in medieval and early modern romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella. (Since the 18th century, the term "novella", or "novelle" in German, has been used in English and other European languages to describe a long short story or a short novel.)

Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji (1010) has been described as the world's first novel. Spread of printed books in China led to the appearance of classical Chinese novels by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Parallel European developments occurred after the invention of the printing press. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote (the first part of which was published in 1605), is frequently cited as the first significant European novelist of the modern era.[2] Ian Watt, in The Rise of the Novel (1957), suggested that the modern novel was born in the early 18th century.

Walter Scott made a distinction between the novel, in which (as he saw it) "events are accommodated to the ordinary train of human events and the modern state of society" and the romance, which he defined as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents".[3] However, many such romances, including the historical romances of Scott,[4] Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights[5] and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick,[6] are also frequently called novels, and Scott describes romance as a "kindred term". This sort of romance is in turn different from the genre fiction love romance or romance novel. Other European languages do not distinguish between romance and novel: "a novel is le roman, der Roman, il romanzo, en roman."[7]

Defining the genre

Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour spending her afternoon with a book (François Boucher, 1756)

A novel is a long, fictional narrative which describes intimate human experiences. The novel in the modern era usually makes use of a literary prose style. The development of the prose novel at this time was encouraged by innovations in printing, and the introduction of cheap paper in the 15th century.

The present English (and Spanish) word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new".[8] Most European languages use the word "romance" (as in French, Dutch, Russian, Slovene, Serbo-Croatian, Romanian, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian "roman"; Finnish "romaani"; German "Roman"; Portuguese "romance" and Italian "romanzo") for extended narratives.

  • A fictional narrative

Fictionality is most commonly cited as distinguishing novels from historiography. However this can be a problematic criterion. Throughout the early modern period authors of historical narratives would often include inventions rooted in traditional beliefs in order to embellish a passage of text or add credibility to an opinion. Historians would also invent and compose speeches for didactic purposes. Novels can, on the other hand, depict the social, political and personal realities of a place and period with clarity and detail not found in works of history.

  • Literary prose

While prose rather than verse became the standard of the modern novel, the ancestors of the modern European novel include verse epics in the Romance language of southern France, especially those by Chrétien de Troyes (late 12th century), and in Middle English (Geoffrey Chaucer's (c. 1343 – 1400) The Canterbury Tales).[9] Even in the 19th century, fictional narratives in verse, such as Lord Byron's Don Juan (1824), Alexander Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin (1833), and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh (1856), competed with prose novels. Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate (1986), composed of 590 Onegin stanzas, is a more recent example of the verse novel.[10]

  • Content: intimate experience

Both in 12th-century Japan and 15th-century Europe, prose fiction created intimate reading situations. On the other hand, verse epics, including the Odyssey and Aeneid, had been recited to a select audiences, though this was a more intimate experience than the performance of plays in theaters. A new world of individualistic fashion, personal views, intimate feelings, secret anxieties, "conduct", and "gallantry" spread with novels and the associated prose-romance.

  • Length

The novel is today the longest genre of narrative prose fiction, followed by the novella. However, in the 17th century, critics saw the romance as of epic length and the novel as its short rival. A precise definition of the differences in length between these types of fiction, is, however, not possible.The requirement of length has been traditionally connected with the notion that a novel should encompass the "totality of life."[11]

History

Early novels

Tosa Mitsuoki—Portrait of Murasaki Shikibu
Paper as the essential carrier: Murasaki Shikibu writing her The Tale of Genji in the early 11th century, 17th-century depiction

Although early forms of the novel are to be found in a number of places, including classical Rome, 10th– and 11th-century Japan, and Elizabethan England, the European novel is often said to have begun with Don Quixote in 1605.[2]

Early works of extended fictional prose, or novels, include works in Latin like the Satyricon by Petronius (c. 50 AD), and The Golden Ass by Apuleius (c. 150 AD), works in Ancient Greek such as Daphnis and Chloe by Longus (c. late second century AD), works in Sanskrit such as the 6th– or 7th-century Daśakumāracarita by Daṇḍin, and in the 7th-century Kadambari by Banabhatta, Murasaki Shikibu's 11th-century Japanese work The Tale of Genji, the 12th-century Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (or Philosophus Autodidactus, the 17th-century Latin title) by Ibn Tufail, who wrote in Arabic, the 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus by Ibn al-Nafis, another Arabic novelist, and Blanquerna, written in Catalan by Ramon Llull (1283), and the 14th-century Chinese Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong.[12]

Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji (1010) has been described as the world's first novel[13][14] and shows essentially all the qualities for which Marie de La Fayette's novel La Princesse de Clèves (1678) has been praised: individuality of perception, an interest in character development, and psychological observation.[15] Urbanization and the spread of printed books in Song Dynasty (960–1279) China led to the evolution of oral storytelling into fictional novels by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Parallel European developments did not occur until after the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439, and the rise of the publishing industry over a century later allowed for similar opportunities.[16]

By contrast, Ibn Tufail's Hayy ibn Yaqdhan and Ibn al-Nafis' Theologus Autodidactus are works of didactic philosophy and theology. In this sense, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan would be considered an early example of a philosophical novel,[17][18] while Theologus Autodidactus would be considered an early theological novel.[19] Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, with its story of a human outcast surviving on an island, is also likely to have influenced Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), because the work was available in an English edition in 1711.[20]

Epic poetry exhibits some similarities with the novel, and the Western tradition of the novel reaches back into the field of verse epics, though again not in an unbroken tradition. The epics of Asia, such as the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (1300–1000 BC), and Indian epics such as the Ramayana (400 BCE and 200 CE), and Mahabharata (4th century BC) were as unknown in early modern Europe as was the Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf (c. 750–1000 AD), which was rediscovered in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Other non-European works, such as the Torah, the Koran, and the Bible, are full of stories, and thus have also had a significant influence on the development of prose narratives, and therefore the novel. Then at the beginning of the 18th century, French prose translations brought Homer's works to a wider public, who accepted them as forerunners of the novel.

Classical Greek and Roman prose narratives[21] included a didactic strand, with the philosopher Plato's (c. 425 – c. 348 BC) dialogues; a satirical dimension with Petronius' Satyricon; the incredible stories of Lucian of Samosata; and Lucius Apuleius' proto-picaresque The Golden Ass, as well as the heroic romances of the Greeks Heliodorus and Longus. Longus is the author of the Greek novel, Daphnis and Chloe (2nd century AD).[21]

Medieval period 1100–1500

Chivalric Romances

Chaucer Troilus frontispiece
Chaucer reciting Troilus and Criseyde: early-15th-century manuscript of the work at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Romance or chivalric romance is a type of narrative in prose or verse popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight-errant with heroic qualities, who undertakes a quest, yet it is "the emphasis on heterosexual love and courtly manners distinguishes it from the chanson de geste and other kinds of epic, which involve heroism."[22] In later romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love.

Originally, romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman and Occitan, later, in English, Italian and German. During the early 13th century, romances were increasingly written as prose.

The shift from verse to prose dates from the early 13th century. The Prose Lancelot or Vulgate Cycle includes passages from that period. This collection indirectly led to Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur of the early 1470s. Prose became increasingly attractive because it enabled writers to associate popular stories with serious histories traditionally composed in prose, and could also be more easily translated.[23]

Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Romances reworked legends, fairy tales, and history, but by about 1600 they were out of fashion, and Miguel de Cervantes famously burlesqued them in Don Quixote (1605). Still, the modern image of the medieval is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, and the word "medieval" evokes knights, distressed damsels, dragons, and such tropes.[24]

Around 1800, the connotations of "romance" were modified with the development Gothic fiction.

The novella

The term "novel" originates from the production of short stories, or novella that remained part of a European oral culture of storytelling into the late 19th century. Fairy tales, jokes, and humorous stories designed to make a point in a conversation, and the exemplum a priest would insert in a sermon belong into this tradition. Written collections of such stories circulated in a wide range of products from practical compilations of examples designed for the use of clerics to compilations of various stories such as Boccaccio's Decameron (1354) and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1386–1400). The Decameron (1354) was a compilation of one hundred novelle told by ten people—seven women and three men—fleeing the Black Death by escaping from Florence to the Fiesole hills, in 1348.

Renaissance period: 1500–1700

1474 Melusine Ausgabe Augsburg Johann Bämler Blatt 2
1474: The customer in the copyist's shop with a book he wants to have copied. This illustration of the first printed German Melusine looked back to the market of manuscripts.

The modern distinction between history and fiction did not exist in the early sixteenth century and the grossest improbabilities pervade many historical accounts found in the early modern print market. William Caxton's 1485 edition of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (1471) was sold as a true history, though the story unfolded in a series of magical incidents and historical improbabilities. Sir John Mandeville's Voyages, written in the 14th century, but circulated in printed editions throughout the 18th century,[25] was filled with natural wonders, which were accepted as fact, like the one-footed Ethiopians who use their extremity as an umbrella against the desert sun. Both works eventually came to be viewed as works of fiction.

In the 16th and 17th centuries two factors led to the separation of history and fiction. The invention of printing immediately created a new market of comparatively cheap entertainment and knowledge in the form of chapbooks. The more elegant production of this genre by 17th- and 18th-century authors were belles lettresthat is, a market that would be neither low nor academic. The second major development was the first best-seller of modern fiction, the Spanish Amadis de Gaula, by García Montalvo. However, it was not accepted as an example of belles lettres. The Amadis eventually became the archetypical romance, in contrast with the modern novel which began to be developed in the 17th century.

Chapbooks

A chapbook is an early type of popular literature printed in early modern Europe. Produced cheaply, chapbooks were commonly small, paper-covered booklets, usually printed on a single sheet folded into books of 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages. They were often illustrated with crude woodcuts, which sometimes bore no relation to the text. When illustrations were included in chapbooks, they were considered popular prints. The tradition arose in the 16th century, as soon as printed books became affordable, and rose to its height during the 17th and 18th centuries and Many different kinds of ephemera and popular or folk literature were published as chapbooks, such as almanacs, children's literature, folk tales, nursery rhymes, pamphlets, poetry, and political and religious tracts.[26]

The term "chapbook" for this type of literature was coined in the 19th century. The corresponding French and German terms are bibliothèque bleue (blue book) and Volksbuch, respectively.[27][28][29] The principal historical subject matter of chapbooks was abridgements of ancient historians, popular medieval histories of knights, stories of comical heroes, religious legends, and collections of jests and fables.[30] The new printed books reached the households of urban citizens and country merchants who visited the cities as traders. Cheap printed histories were, in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially popular among apprentices and younger urban readers of both sexes.[31]

The early modern market, from the 1530s and 1540s, divided into low chapbooks and high market expensive, fashionable, elegant belles lettres. The Amadis and Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel were important publications with respect to this divide. Both books specifically addressed the new customers of popular histories, rather than readers of belles lettres. The Amadis was a multi–volume fictional history of style, that aroused a debate about style and elegance as it became the first best-seller of popular fiction. On the other hand, Gargantua and Pantagruel, while it adopted the form of modern popular history, in fact satirized that genre's stylistic achievements. The division, between low and high literature, became especially visible with books that appeared on both the popular and belles lettres markets in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries: low chapbooks included abridgments of books such as Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605/1615)

The term "chapbook" is also in use for present-day publications, commonly short, inexpensive booklets.[26]

Heroic romances

Heroic Romance is a genre of imaginative literature, which flourished in the 17th century, principally in France.

The beginnings of modern fiction in France took a pseudo-bucolic form, and the celebrated L'Astrée, (1610) of Honore d'Urfe (1568–1625), which is the earliest French novel, is properly styled a pastoral. Although its action was, in the main, languid and sentimental, there was a side of the Astree which encouraged that extravagant love of glory, that spirit of " panache", which was now rising to its height in France. That spirit it was which animated Marin le Roy de Gomberville (1603–1674), who was the inventor of what have since been known as the Heroical Romances. In these there was experienced a violent recrudescence of the old medieval elements of romance, the impossible valour devoted to a pursuit of the impossible beauty, but the whole clothed in the language and feeling and atmosphere of the age in which the books were written. In order to give point to the chivalrous actions of the heroes, it was always hinted that they were well-known public characters of the day in a romantic disguise.

Satirical romances

Richard Head 1666
Richard Head, The English Rogue (1665)

Stories of witty cheats were an integral part of the European novella with its tradition of fabliaux. Significant examples include Till Eulenspiegel (1510), Lazarillo de Tormes (1554), Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus Teutsch (1666–1668) and in England Richard Head's The English Rogue (1665). The tradition that developed with these titles focused on a hero and his life. The adventures led to satirical encounters with the real world with the hero either becoming the pitiable victim or the rogue who exploited the vices of those he met.

A second tradition of satirical romances can be traced back to Heinrich Wittenwiler's Ring (c. 1410) and to François Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–1564), which parodied and satirized heroic romances, and did this mostly by dragging them into the low realm of the burlesque. Cervantes' Don Quixote (1606/1615) modified the satire of romances: its hero lost contact with reality by reading too many romances in the Amadisian tradition.

Other important works of the tradition are Paul Scarron's Roman Comique (1651–57), the anonymous French Rozelli with its satire on Europe's religions, Alain-René Lesage's Gil Blas (1715–1735), Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (1742) and Tom Jones (1749), and Denis Diderot's Jacques the Fatalist (1773, printed posthumously in 1796).[32]

Histories

1719-heathcot-robinson-crusoe
1719 newspaper reprint of Robinson Crusoe

A market of literature in the modern sense of the word, that is a separate market for fiction and poetry, did not exist until the late seventeenth century. All books were sold under the rubric of "History and politicks" in the early 18th century, including pamphlets, memoirs, travel literature, political analysis, serious histories, romances, poetry, and novels.

That fictional histories shared the same space with academic histories and modern journalism had been criticized by historians since the end of the Middle Ages: fictions were "lies" and therefore hardly justifiable at all. The climate, however, changed in the 1670s.

The romance format of the quasi–historical works of Madame d'Aulnoy, César Vichard de Saint-Réal,[33] Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras,[34] and Anne-Marguerite Petit du Noyer, allowed the publication of histories that dared not risk an unambiguous assertion of their truth. The literary market-place of the late 17th and early 18th century employed a simple pattern of options whereby fictions could reach out into the sphere of true histories. This permitted its authors to claim they had published fiction, not truth, if they ever faced allegations of libel.

Prefaces and title pages of 17th– and early 18th-century fiction acknowledged this pattern: histories could claim to be romances, but threaten to relate true events, as in the Roman à clef. Other works could, conversely, claim to be factual histories, yet earn the suspicion that they were wholly invented. A further differentiation was made between private and public history: Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe was, within this pattern, neither a "romance" nor a "novel". It smelled of romance, yet the preface stated that it should most certainly be read as a true private history.[35]

Cervantes and the modern novel

The rise of the novel as an alternative to the romance began with the publication of Cervantes' Novelas Exemplares (1613). It continued with Scarron's Roman Comique (the first part of which appeared in 1651), whose heroes noted the rivalry between French romances and the new Spanish genre.[36]

Late 17th-century critics looked back on the history of prose fiction, proud of the generic shift that had taken place, leading towards the modern novel/novella.[37] The first perfect works in French were those of Scarron and Madame de La Fayette's "Spanish history" Zayde (1670). The development finally led to her Princesse de Clèves (1678), the first novel with what would become characteristic French subject matter.

Europe witnessed the generic shift in the titles of works in French published in Holland, which supplied the international market and English publishers exploited the novel/romance controversy in the 1670s and 1680s.[38] Contemporary critics listed the advantages of the new genre: brevity, a lack of ambition to produce epic poetry in prose; the style was fresh and plain; the focus was on modern life, and on heroes who were neither good nor bad.[39] The novel's potential to become the medium of urban gossip and scandal fuelled the rise of the novel/novella. Stories were offered as allegedly true recent histories, not for the sake of scandal but strictly for the moral lessons they gave. To prove this, fictionalized names were used with the true names in a separate key. The Mercure Gallant set the fashion in the 1670s.[40] Collections of letters and memoirs appeared, and were filled with the intriguing new subject matter and the epistolary novel grew from this and led to the first full blown example of scandalous fiction in Aphra Behn's Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1684/ 1685/ 1687). Before the rise of the literary novel, reading novels had only been a form of entertainment.[41]

However, one of the earliest English novels, Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), has elements of the romance, unlike these novels, because of its exotic setting and story of survival in isolation. Crusoe lacks almost all of the elements found in these new novels: wit, a fast narration evolving around a group of young fashionable urban heroes, along with their intrigues, a scandalous moral, gallant talk to be imitated, and a brief, conciseness plot. The new developments did, however, lead to Eliza Haywood's epic length novel, Love in Excess (1719/20) and to Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1741). Some literary historians date the beginning of the English novel with Richardson's Pamela, rather than Crusoe.[42]

18th century novels

The idea of the "rise of the novel" in the 18th century is especially associated with Ian Watt's influential study The Rise of the Novel (1957).[43] In Watt's conception, a rise in fictional realism during the 18th century came to distinguish the novel from earlier prose narratives.[44]

1769 Laurence Sterne Tristram Shandy v6 p70
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, vol.6, pp. 70–71 (1769)

Philosophical novel

The rising status of the novel in 18th-century can be seen in the development of philosophical[45] and experimental novels.

Philosophical fiction was not exactly new. Plato's dialogues were embedded in fictional narratives and his Republic is an early example of a Utopia. The tradition of works of fiction that were also philosophical texts continued with Thomas More's Utopia (1516) and Tommaso Campanella's City of the Sun (1602). However, the actual tradition of the philosophical novel came into being in the 1740s with new editions of More's work under the title Utopia: or the happy republic; a philosophical romance (1743). Voltaire wrote in this genre in Micromegas: a comic romance, which is a biting satire on philosophy, ignorance, and the self-conceit of mankind (1752, English 1753). His Zadig (1747) and Candide (1759) became central texts of the French Enlightenment and of the modern novel.

An example of the experimental novel is Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759–1767), with its rejection of continuous narration.[46] In it the author not only addresses readers in his preface but speaks directly to them in his fictional narrative. In addition to Sterne's narrative experiments, there has visual experiments, such as a marbled page, a black page to express sorrow, and a page of lines to show the plot lines of the book. The novel as a whole focuses on the problems of language, with constant regard to John Locke's theories in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.[47]

The romance genre in the 18th century

The rise of the word novel at the cost of its rival, the romance, remained a Spanish and English phenomenon, and though readers all over Western Europe had welcomed the novel(la) or short history as an alternative in the second half of the 17th century, only the English and the Spanish had, however, openly discredited the romance.

But the change of taste was brief and Fénelon's Telemachus (1699/1700) already exploited a nostalgia for the old romances with their heroism and professed virtue. Jane Barker explicitly advertised her Exilius as "A new Romance", "written after the Manner of Telemachus", in 1715.[48] Robinson Crusoe spoke of his own story as a "romance", though in the preface to the third volume, published in 1720, Defoe attacks all who said "that [...] the Story is feign'd, that the Names are borrow'd, and that it is all a Romance; that there never were any such Man or Place".

The late 18th century brought an answer with the Romantic Movement's readiness to reclaim the word romance, with the gothic romance, and the historical novels of Walter Scott. Robinson Crusoe now became a "novel" in this period, that is a work of the new realistic fiction created in the 18th century.

The sentimental novel

Sentimental novels relied on emotional responses, and feature scenes of distress and tenderness, and the plot is arranged to advance emotions rather than action. The result is a valorization of "fine feeling", displaying the characters as models of refined, sensitive emotional effect. The ability to display such feelings was thought at this time to show character and experience, and to help shape positive social life and relationships.[49]

An example of this genre is Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), composed "to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the Youth of Both Sexes", which focuses on a potential victim, a heroine that has all the modern virtues and who is vulnerable because her low social status and her occupation as servant of a libertine who falls in love with her. She, however, ends in reforming her antagonist.

Male heroes adopted the new sentimental character traits in the 1760s. Laurence Sterne's Yorick, the hero of the Sentimental Journey (1768) did so with an enormous amount of humour. Oliver Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield (1766) and Henry Mackenzie's Man of Feeling (1771) produced the far more serious role models.

These works inspired a sub- and counterculture of pornographic novels, for which Greek and Latin authors in translations had provided elegant models from the last century.[50] Pornography includes John Cleland's Fanny Hill (1748), which offered an almost exact reversals of the plot of novel's that emphasised virtue. The prostitute Fanny Hill learns to enjoy her work and establishes herself as a free and economically independent individual, in editions one could only expect to buy under the counter.[51]

Less virtuous protagonists can also be found in satirical novels, like Richard Head's English Rogue (1665), that feature brothels, while women authors like Aphra Behn had offered their heroines alternative careers as precursors of the 19th-century femmes fatales.[52]>

The genre evolves in the 1770s with, for example, Werther in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) realising that it is impossible for him to integrate into the new conformist society, and Pierre Choderlos de Laclos in Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) showing a group of aristocrats playing games of intrigue and amorality..

The social context of the 18th century novel

By around 1700, fiction was no longer a predominantly aristocratic entertainment, and printed books had soon gained the power to reach readers of almost all classes, though the reading habits differed and to follow fashions remained a privilege. Spain was a trendsetter into the 1630s but French authors superseded Cervantes, de Quevedo, and Alemán in the 1640s. As Huet was to note in 1670, the change was one of manners.[53] The new French works taught a new, on the surface freer, gallant exchange between the sexes as the essence of life at the French court.

The situation changed again from 1660s into the 1690s when works by French authors were published in Holland out of the reach of French censors.[54] Dutch publishing houses pirated of fashionable books from France and created a new market of political and scandalous fiction. This led to a market of European rather than French fashions in the early 18th century.[55]

1711 The Court and City Vagaries
Intimate short stories: The Court and City Vagaries (1711).

By the 1680s fashionable political European novels had inspired a second wave of private scandalous publications and generated new productions of local importance. Women authors reported on politics and on their private love affairs in The Hague and in London. German students imitated them to boast of their private amours in fiction.[56] The London, the anonymous international market of the Netherlands, publishers in Hamburg and Leipzig generated new public spheres.[57] Once private individuals, such as students in university towns and daughters of London's upper class began write novels based on questionable reputations, the public began to call for a reformation of manners.[58]

An important development in Britain, at the beginning of the century, was that new journals like The Spectator and The Tatler reviewed novels. In Germany Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Briefe, die neuste Literatur betreffend (1758) appeared in the middle of the century with reviews of art and fiction. By the 1780s such reviews played had an important role in introducing new works of fiction to the public.

Influenced by the new journals, reform became the main goal of the second generation of 18th-century novelists. The Spectator Number 10 had stated that the aim was now "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with morality […] to bring philosophy out of the closets and libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at tea-tables and coffeehouses"). Constructive criticism of novels had until then been rare.[59] The first treatise on the history of the novel was a preface to Marie de La Fayette's novel Zayde (1670).

A much later development was the introduction of novels into school and later university curricula.

The French churchman and scholar Pierre Daniel Huet's Traitté de l'origine des romans (1670) laid the ground for a greater acceptance of the novel as literature, that is comparable to the classics, in the early 18th century. The theologian had not only dared to praise fictions, but he had also explained techniques of theological interpretation of fiction, which was a novelty. Furthermore, readers of novels and romances could gain insight not only into their own culture, but also that of distant, exotic countries.

When the decades around 1700 saw the appearance of new editions of the classical authors Petronius, Lucian, and Heliodorus of Emesa.[60] the publishers equipped them with prefaces that referred to Huet's treatise. and the canon it had established. Also exotic works of Middle Eastern fiction entered the market that gave insight into Islamic culture. The Book of One Thousand and One Nights was first published in Europe from 1704 to 1715 in French, and then translated immediately into English and German, and was seen as a contribution to Huet's history of romances.[61]

The English, Select Collection of Novels in six volumes (1720–22), is a milestone in this development of the novel's prestige. It included Huet's Treatise, along with the European tradition of the modern novel of the day: that is, novella from Machiavelli's to Marie de La Fayette's masterpieces. Aphra Behn's novels had appeared in the 1680s but became classics when reprinted in collections. Fénelon's Telemachus (1699/1700) became a classic three years after its publication. New authors entering the market were now ready to use their personal names rather than pseudonyms, including Eliza Haywood, who in 1719 following in the footsteps of Aphra Behn used her name with unprecedented pride.

19th century novels

Romanticism

Walter Scott Waverley illustration (Pettie-Huth)
Image from a Victorian edition of Walter Scott's Waverley

The very word romanticism is connected to the idea of romance, and the romance genre experienced a revival, at the end of the 18th century, with gothic fiction, that began in 1746 with English author Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, subtitled (in its second edition) "A Gothic Story". Other important works are Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and 'Monk' Lewis's The Monk (1795).

The new romances challenged the idea that the novel involved a realistic depictions of life, and destabilized the difference the critics had been trying to establish, between serious classical art and popular fiction. Gothic romances exploited the grotesque,[62] and some critics thought that their subject matter deserved less credit than the worst medieval tales of Arthurian knighthood.[63]

The authors of this new type of fiction were accused of exploiting all available topics to thrill, arouse, or horrify their audience. These new romantic novelists, however, claimed that they were exploring the entire realm of fictionality. And psychological interpreters, in the early 19th century, read these works as encounters with the deeper hidden truth of the human imagination: this included sexuality, anxieties, and insatiable desires. Under such readings, novels were described as exploring deeper human motives, and it was suggested that such artistic freedom would reveal what had not previously been openly visible.

The romances of de Sade, Les 120 Journées de Sodome (1785), Poe's Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840), Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818), and E.T.A. Hoffmann, Die Elixiere des Teufels (1815), would later attract 20th-century psychoanalysts and supply the images for 20th- and 21st-century horror films, love romances, fantasy novels, role-playing computer games, and the surrealists.

The historical romance was also important at this time. But, while earlier writers of these romances paid little attention to historical reality, Walter Scott's historical novel Waverley (1814) broke with this tradition, and he invented "the true historical novel".[64] At the same time he was influenced by gothic romance, and had collaborated in 1801 with 'Monk' Lewis on Tales of Wonder.[64] With his Waverley novels Scott "hoped to do for the Scottish border" what Goethe and other German poets "had done for the Middle Ages, "and make its past live again in modern romance".[65] Scott's novels "are in the mode he himself defined as romance, 'the interest of which turns upon marvelous and uncommon incidents'".[66] He used his imagination to re-evaluate history by rendering things, incidents and protagonists in the way only the novelist could do. His work remained historical fiction, yet it questioned existing historical perceptions. The use of historical research was an important tool: Scott, the novelist, resorted to documentary sources as any historian would have done, but as a romantic he gave his subject a deeper imaginative and emotional significance.[66] By combining research with "marvelous and uncommon incidents", Scott attracted a far wider market than any historian could, and was the most famous novelist of his generation, throughout Europe.[64]

The Victorian period: 1837–1901

In the 19th century the relationship between authors, publishers, and readers, changed. Authors originally had only received payment for their manuscript, however, changes in copyright laws, which began in 18th and continued into 19th century[67] promised royalties on all future editions. Another change in the 19th century was that novelists began to read their works in theaters, halls, and bookshops.[68] Also during the nineteenth century the market for popular fiction grew, and competed with works of literature. New institutions like the circulating library created a new market with a mass reading public.[69]

Another difference was that novels began to deal with more difficult subjects, including current political and social issues, that were being discussed in newspapers and magazines. The idea of social responsibility became a key subject, whether of the citizen, or of the artist, with the theoretical debate concentrating on questions around the moral soundness of the modern novel.[70] Questions about artistic integrity, as well as aesthetics, including, for example. the idea of "art for art's sake", proposed by writers like Oscar Wilde and Algernon Charles Swinburne, were also important.[71]

Major British writers such as Charles Dickens[72] and Thomas Hardy[73] were influenced by the romance genre tradition of the novel, which had been revitalized during the Romantic period. The Brontë sisters were notable mid-19th-century authors in this tradition, with Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.[74] Publishing at the very end of the 19th century, Joseph Conrad has been called "a supreme 'romancer.'"[75] In America "the romance ... proved to be a serious, flexible, and successful medium for the exploration of philosophical ideas and attitudes." Notable examples include Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.[76]

A number of European novelists were similarly influenced influenced during this period by the earlier romance tradition, along with the Romanticism, including Victor Hugo, with novels like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) and Les Misérables (1862), and Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov with A Hero of Our Time (1840).

Many 19th-century authors dealt with significant social matters.[77] Émile Zola's novels depicted the world of the working classes, which Marx and Engels's non-fiction explores. In the United States slavery and racism became topics of far broader public debate thanks to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), which dramatizes topics that had previously been discussed mainly in the abstract. Charles Dickens' novels led his readers into contemporary workhouses, and provided first-hand accounts of child labor. The treatment of the subject of war changed with Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (1868/69), where he questions the facts provided by historians. Similarly the treatment of crime is very different in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (1866), where the point of view is that of a criminal. Women authors had dominated fiction from the 1640s into the early 18th century, but few before George Eliot so openly questioned the role, education, and status of women in society, as she did.

As the novel became a platform of modern debate, national literatures were developed that link the present with the past in the form of the historical novel. Alessandro Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi (1827) did this for Italy, while novelists in Russia and the surrounding Slavonic countries, as well as Scandinavia, did likewise.

Along with this new appreciation of history, the future also became a topic for fiction. This had been done earlier in works like Samuel Madden's Memoirs of the Twentieth Century (1733) and Mary Shelley's The Last Man (1826), a work whose plot culminated in the catastrophic last days of a mankind extinguished by the plague. Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1887) and H.G. Wells's The Time Machine (1895) were concerned with technological and biological developments. Industrialization, Darwin's theory of evolution and Marx's theory of class divisions shaped these works and turned historical processes into a subject of wide debate. Bellamy's Looking Backward became the second best-selling book of the 19th century after Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.[78][79] Such works led to the development of a whole genre of popular science fiction as the 20th century approached.

The 20th century and later

Modernism and post-modernism

Evstafiev-solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Vladivostok, 1995

James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) had a major influence on modern novelists, in the way that it replaced the 18th- and 19th-century narrator with a text that attempted to record inner thoughts, or a "stream of consciousness". This term was first used by William James in 1890 and, along with the related term interior monologue, is used by modernists like Dorothy Richardson, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner.[80] Also in the 1920s expressionist Alfred Döblin went in a different direction with Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929), where interspersed non-fictional text fragments exist alongside the fictional material to create another new form of realism, which differs from that of stream-of-consciousness.

Later works like Samuel Beckett's trilogy Molloy (1951), Malone Dies (1951) and The Unnamable (1953), as well as Julio Cortázar's Rayuela (1963) and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973) all make use of the stream-of-consciousness technique. On the other hand, Robert Coover is an example of those authors who, in the 1960s, fragmented their stories and challenged time and sequentiality as fundamental structural concepts.

Chinua Achebe - Buffalo 25Sep2008
Chinua Achebe, Buffalo, 2008

The 20th century novels deals with a wide range of subject matter. Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (1928) focusses on young German's experiences of World War I. The Jazz Age is explored by American F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the Great Depression by fellow American John Steinbeck. The rise of totalitarian states is the subject of British writer George Orwell. France's existentialism is the subject of French writers Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea (1938) and Albert Camus' The Stranger (1942). The counterculture of the 1960s led to revived interest in Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf (1927), and produced such iconic works of its own like Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Novelist have also been interested in the subject of racial and gender identity in recent decades.[81] Jesse Kavadlo of Maryville University of St. Louis has described Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club (1996) as "a closeted feminist critique".[82] Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Elfriede Jelinek were feminist voices during this period.

Furthermore, the major political and military confrontations of the 20th and 21st centuries have also influenced novelists. The events of World War II, from a German perspective, are dealt with by Günter Grass' The Tin Drum (1959) and an American by Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961). The subsequent Cold War influenced popular spy novels. Latin American self-awareness in the wake of the (failing) left revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a "Latin American Boom", linked to with the names of novelists Julio Cortázar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez, along with the invention of a special brand of postmodern magic realism.

Another major 20th-century social events, the so-called sexual revolution is reflected in the modern novel.[83] D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover had to be published in Italy in 1928; British censorship lifted its ban as late as 1960. Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (1934) created the comparable US scandal. Transgressive fiction from Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (1955) to Michel Houellebecq's Les Particules élémentaires (1998) entered a literary field that eventually led to more pornographic works such as Anne Desclos' Story of O (1954) to Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus (1978).

In the second half of the 20th century, Postmodern authors subverted serious debate with playfulness, claiming that art could never be original, that it always plays with existing materials.[84] The idea that language is self-referential was already an accepted truth in the world of pulp fiction. A postmodernist re-reads popular literature as an essential cultural production. Novels from Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), to Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose (1980) and Foucault's Pendulum (1989) made use of intertextual references.[85]

Genre fiction

See also: Thriller, Westerns and Speculative fiction

While the reader of so-called serious literature will follow public discussions of novels, popular fiction production employs more direct and short-term marketing strategies by openly declarating of the work's genre. Popular novels are based entirely on the expectations for the particular genre, and this includes the creation of a series of novels with an identifiable brand name. e.g. the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle

Popular literature holds a larger market share. Romance fiction had an estimated $1.375 billion share in the US book market in 2007. Inspirational literature/religious literature followed with $819 million, science fiction/fantasy with $700 million, mystery with $650 million and then classic literary fiction with $466 million.[86]

Genre literature might be seen as the successor of the early modern chapbook. Both fields share a focus on readers who are in search of accessible reading satisfaction.[87] The 20th-century love romance is a successor of the novels Madeleine de Scudéry, Marie de La Fayette, Aphra Behn, and Eliza Haywood wrote from the 1640s into the 1740s. The modern adventure novel goes back to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) and its immediate successors. Modern pornography has no precedent in the chapbook market but originates in libertine and hedonistic belles lettres, of works like John Cleland's Fanny Hill (1749) and similar eighteenth century novels. Ian Fleming's James Bond is a descendant of the anonymous yet extremely sophisticated and stylish narrator who mixed his love affairs with his political missions in La Guerre d'Espagne (1707). Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon is influenced by Tolkien, as well as Arthurian literature, including its 19th-century successors. Modern horror fiction also has no precedent on the market of chapbooks but goes back to the elitist market of early-19th-century Romantic literature. Modern popular science fiction has an even shorter history, from the 1860s.

The authors of popular fiction tend to advertise that they have exploited a controversial topic and this is a major difference between them and so-called elitist literature. Dan Brown, for example, discusses, on his website, the question whether his Da Vinci Code is an anti-Christian novel.[88] And because authors of popular fiction have a fan community to serve, they can risk offending literary critic. However, the boundaries between popular and serious literature have blurred in recent years, with postmodernism and poststructuralism, as well as by adaptation of popular literary classics by the film and television industries.

Crime became a major subject of 20th and 21st century genre novelists and crime fiction reflects the realities of modern industrialized societies. Crime is both a personal and public subject: criminals each have their personal motivations; detectives, see their moral codes challenged. Patricia Highsmith's thrillers became a medium of new psychological explorations. Paul Auster's New York Trilogy (1985–1986) is an example of experimental postmodernist literature based on this genre.

Fantasy is another major area of commercial fiction, and a major example is J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954/55), a work originally written for young readers that became a major cultural artefact. Tolkien in fact revived the tradition of European epic literature in the tradition of Beowulf, the North Germanic Edda and the Arthurian Cycles.

Science fiction, is another important type of genre fiction and it has developed in a variety of ways, ranging from the early, technological adventure Jules Verne had made fashionable in the 1860s, to Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932) about Western consumerism and technology. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) deals with totalitarianism and surveillance, among other matters, while Stanisław Lem, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke produced modern classics which focus on the interaction between humans and machines. The surreal novels of Philip K Dick such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch explore the nature of reality, reflecting the widespread recreational experimentation with drugs and cold-war paranoia of the 60's and 70's. Writers such as Ursula le Guin and Margaret Atwood explore feminist and broader social issues in their works. William Gibson, author of the cult classic Neuromancer (1984), is one of a new wave of authors who explore post-apocalyptic fantasies and virtual reality.

See also

References

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  3. ^ "Essay on Romance", Prose Works volume vi, p. 129, quoted in "Introduction" to Walter Scott's Quentin Durward, ed. Susan Maning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. xxv. Romance should not be confused with Harlequin Romance.
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  5. ^ Moers, Ellen. Literary Women: The Great Writers[1976] (London: The Women’s Press, 1978)
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  24. ^ C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image, p. 9 ISBN 0-521-47735-2
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  27. ^ From chapmen, chap, a variety of peddler, which folks circulated such literature as part of their stock.
  28. ^ Spufford, Margaret (1984). The Great Reclothing of Rural England. London: Hambledon Press. ISBN 978-0-907628-47-7.
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  31. ^ See Johann Friedrich Riederer German satire on the widespread reading of novels and romances: "Satyra von den Liebes-Romanen", in: Die abentheuerliche Welt in einer Pickelheerings-Kappe, vol. 2 (Nürnberg, 1718). online edition
  32. ^ Compare also: Günter Berger, Der komisch-satirische Roman und seine Leser. Poetik, Funktion und Rezeption einer niederen Gattung im Frankreich des 17. Jahrhunderts (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1984), Ellen Turner Gutiérrez The reception of the picaresque in the French, English, and German traditions (P. Lang, 1995), and Frank Palmeri, Satire, History, Novel: Narrative Forms, 1665–1815 (University of Delaware Press, 2003).
  33. ^ See his Dom Carlos, nouvelle histoire (Amsterdam, 1672) and the recent dissertation by Chantal Carasco, Saint-Réal, romancier de l'histoire: une cohérence esthéthique et morale (Nantes, 2005).
  34. ^ Jean Lombard, Courtilz de Sandras et la crise du roman à la fin du Grand Siècle (Paris: PUF, 1980).
  35. ^ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (London: W. Taylor, 1719)
  36. ^ See Paul Scarron, The Comical Romance, Chapter XXI. "Which perhaps will not be found very Entertaining" (London, 1700) with its call for the new genre. online edition
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  38. ^ See Robert Ignatius Letellier, The English novel, 1660–1700: an annotated bibliography (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997).
  39. ^ See the preface to The Secret History of Queen Zarah (Albigion, 1705)– the English version of Abbe Bellegarde, "Lettre à une Dame de la Cour, qui lui avoit demandé quelques Reflexions sur l'Histoire" in: Lettres curieuses de littérature et de morale (La Haye: Adrian Moetjens, 1702) online edition
  40. ^ DeJean, Joan. The Essence of Style: How the French Invented Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour (New York: Free Press, 2005).
  41. ^ Warner, William B. Preface From a Literary to a Cultural History of the Early Novel In: Licensing Entertainment – The Elevation of Novel Reading in Britain, 1684–1750 University of California Press, Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford: 1998.
  42. ^ Cevasco, George A. Pearl Buck and the Chinese Novel, p. 442. Asian Studies – Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, 1967, 5:3, pp. 437–51.
  43. ^ Ian Watt's, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (London, 1957).
  44. ^ The Rise of the Novel (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963), p. 10.
  45. ^ See Jonathan Irvine Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650–1750 (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 591–599, Roger Pearson, The fables of reason: a study of Voltaire's "Contes philosophiques" (Oxford University Press 1993), Dena Goodman, Criticism in action: Enlightenment experiments in political writing (Cornell University Press 1989), Robert Francis O'Reilly, The Artistry of Montesquieu's Narrative Tales (University of Wisconsin., 1967), and René Pomeau and Jean Ehrard, De Fénelon à Voltaire (Flammarion, 1998).
  46. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica [3].
  47. ^ Griffin, Robert J. (1961). "Tristram Shandy and Language". College English. 23 (2): 108–12. doi:10.2307/372959. JSTOR 372959.
  48. ^ See the preface to her Exilius (London: E. Curll, 1715)
  49. ^ Richard Maxwell and Katie Trumpener, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Fiction in the Romantic Period (2008).
  50. ^ The elegant and clearly fashionable edition of The Works of Lucian (London: S. Briscoe/ J. Woodward/ J. Morphew, 1711), would thus include the story of "Lucian's Ass", vol.1 pp. 114–43.
  51. ^ See Robert Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York: Norton, 1995), Lynn Hunt, The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500–1800 (New York: Zone, 1996), Inger Leemans, Het woord is aan de onderkant: radicale ideeën in Nederlandse pornografische romans 1670–1700 (Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2002), and Lisa Z. Sigel, Governing Pleasures: Pornography and Social Change in England, 1815–1914 (January: Scholarly Book Services Inc, 2002).
  52. ^ Aphra Behn's Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1684/ 1685/ 1687)
  53. ^ Pierre Daniel Huet, The History of Romances, transl. by Stephen Lewis (London: J. Hooke/ T. Caldecott, 1715), pp. 138–140.
  54. ^ See for the following: Christiane Berkvens-Stevelinck, H. Bots, P.G. Hoftijzer (eds.), Le Magasin de L'univers: The Dutch Republic as the Centre of the European Book Trade: Papers Presented at the International Colloquium, Held at Wassenaar, 5–7 July 1990 (Leiden/ Boston, MA: Brill, 1992).
  55. ^ See also the article on Pierre Marteau for a profile of the European production of (not only) political scandal.
  56. ^ See George Ernst Reinwalds Academien- und Studenten-Spiegel (Berlin: J.A. Rüdiger, 1720), pp. 424–427 and the novels written by such "authors" as Celander, Sarcander, and Adamantes at the beginning of the 18th century.
  57. ^ Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of the Bourgeois Society [1962], translated by Thomas Burger (MIT Press, 1991).
  58. ^ See the Entertainments pp. 74–77, Jane Barker's preface to her Exilius (London: E. Curll, 1715), and George Ernst Reinwalds Academien- und Studenten-Spiegel (Berlin: J.A. Rüdiger, 1720), pp. 424–27.
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  60. ^ The Works of T. Petronius Arbiter [...] second edition [...] (London: S. Briscoe/ J. Woodward/ J. Morphew, 1710); The Works of Lucian,, 2 vols. (London: S. Briscoe/ J. Woodward/ J. Morphew, 1711). See The Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclia [...], 2 vols. (London: W. Taylor/ E. Curll/ R. Gosling/ J. Hooke/ J. Browne/ J. Osborn, 1717),
  61. ^ August Bohse's (alias Talander) "Preface" to the German edition. (Leipzig: J.L. Gleditsch/ M.G. Weidmann, 1710).
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  65. ^ The Bloomsbury Guide to English Literature, ed. Marion Wynne Davis, p. 884.
  66. ^ a b The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol.2, 7th edition, ed. M.H. Abrams. New York: Norton, 2000, pp. 20–21.
  67. ^ See Mark Rose, Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright 3rd ed. (Harvard University Press, 1993) and Joseph Lowenstein, The Author's Due: Printing and the Prehistory of Copyright (University of Chicago Press, 2002)
  68. ^ See Susan Esmann, "Die Autorenlesung – eine Form der Literaturvermittlung", Kritische Ausgabe 1/2007 PDF; 0,8 MB.
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  70. ^ See: James Engell, The committed word: Literature and Public Values (Penn State Press, 1999) and Edwin M. Eigner, George John Worth (ed.), Victorian criticism of the novel (Cambridge: CUP Archive, 1985).
  71. ^ Gene H. Bell-Villada, Art for Art's Sake & Literary Life: How Politics and Markets Helped Shape the Ideology & Culture of Aestheticism, 1790–1990 (University of Nebraska Press, 1996).
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  73. ^ Jane Millgate, "Two Versions of Regional Romance: Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor and Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900, Vol. 17, No. 4, Nineteenth Century (Autumn, 1977), pp. 729–38.
  74. ^ Lucasta Miller, The Brontë Myth. London: Vintage, 2002.
  75. ^ Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory, ed. J.A. Cuddon, 4th ed., revised C.E. Preston (1999), p. 761.
  76. ^ A Handbook of Literary Terms, 7th edition, ed. Harmon and Holman (1995), p. 450.
  77. ^ For the wider context of 19th-century encounters with history see: Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1977).
  78. ^ See Scott Donaldson and Ann Massa American Literature: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (David & Charles, 1978), p. 205.
  79. ^ Claire Parfait, The Publishing History of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852–2002 (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007).
  80. ^ See Erwin R. Steinberg (ed.) The Stream-of-consciousness technique in the modern novel (Port Washington, N.Y: Kennikat Press, 1979). On the extra-European usage of the technique see also: Elly Hagenaar/ Eide, Elisabeth, "Stream of consciousness and free indirect discourse in modern Chinese literature", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 56 (1993), p. 621 and P.M. Nayak (ed.), The voyage inward: stream of consciousness in Indian English fiction (New Delhi: Bahri Publications, 1999).
  81. ^ See, for example, Susan Hopkins, Girl Heroes: The New Force In Popular Culture (Annandale NSW:, 2002).
  82. ^ Kavadlo, Jesse (Fall/Winter 2005). "The Fiction of Self-destruction: Chuck Palahniuk, Closet Moralist". Stirrings Still: The International Journal of Existential Literature. 2 (2): 7. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  83. ^ See: Charles Irving Glicksberg, The Sexual Revolution in Modern American Literature (Nijhoff, 1971) and his The Sexual Revolution in Modern English Literature (Martinus Nijhoff, 1973).
  84. ^ See for a first survey Brian McHale, Postmodernist Fiction (Routledge, 1987) and John Docker, Postmodernism and popular culture: a cultural history (Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  85. ^ See Gérard Genette, Palimpsests, trans. Channa Newman & Claude Doubinsky (Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press) and Graham Allan, Intertextuality (London/New York: Routledge, 2000); Linda Hutcheon, Narcissistic Narrative. The Metafictional Paradox (London: Routledge, 1984) and Patricia Waugh, Metafiction. The Theory and Practice of Self-conscious Fiction (London: Routledge 1988).
  86. ^ See the page Romance Literature Statistics: Overview Archived 2007-12-23 at the Wayback Machine (visited March 16, 2009) of Romance Writers of America Archived 2010-12-03 at the Wayback Machine homepage. The subpages offer further statistics for the years since 1998.
  87. ^ John J. Richetti Popular Fiction before Richardson. Narrative Patterns 1700–1739 (Oxford: OUP, 1969).
  88. ^ Dan Brown on his website visited February 3, 2009. Archived January 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

Theories of the novel

  • Bakhtin, Mikhail. About novel. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1981. [written during the 1930s]
  • Burgess, Anthony (1970). "Novel, The" – classic Encyclopædia Britannica entry.
  • Lukács, Georg (1971) [1916]. The Theory of the Novel. Translated by Anna Bostock. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Madden, David; Charles Bane; Sean M. Flory (2006) [1979]. A Primer of the Novel: For Readers and Writers (revised ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5708-7. Updated edition of pioneering typology and history of over 50 genres; index of types and technique, and detailed chronology.
  • McKeon, Michael, Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000).

Histories of the novel

  • Armstrong, Nancy (1987). Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504179-8.
  • Burgess, Anthony (1967). The Novel Now: A Student's Guide to Contemporary Fiction. London: Faber.
  • Davis, Lennard J. (1983). Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-05420-1.
  • Doody, Margaret Anne (1996). The True Story of the Novel. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-2168-8.
  • Heiserman, Arthur Ray. The Novel Before the Novel (Chicago, 1977) ISBN 0-226-32572-5
  • McKeon, Michael (1987). The Origins of the English Novel, 1600–1740. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-3291-8.
  • Mentz, Steve (2006). Romance for sale in early modern England: the rise of prose fiction. Aldershot: Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-5469-9
  • Moore, Steven (2013). The Novel: An Alternative History. Vol. 1, Beginnings to 1600: Continuum, 2010. Vol. 2, 1600–1800: Bloomsbury.
  • Müller, Timo (2017). Handbook of the American Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Boston: de Gruyter.
  • Price, Leah (2003). The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel: From Richardson to George Eliot. London: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53939-5. from Leah Price
  • Relihan, Constance C. (ed.), Framing Elizabethan fictions: contemporary approaches to early modern narrative prose (Kent, Ohio/ London: Kent State University Press, 1996). ISBN 0-87338-551-9
  • Roilos, Panagiotis, Amphoteroglossia: A Poetics of the Twelfth-Century Medieval Greek Novel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2005).
  • Rubens, Robert, "A hundred years of fiction: 1896 to 1996. (The English Novel in the Twentieth Century, part 12)." Contemporary Review, December 1996.
  • Schmidt, Michael, The Novel: A Biography (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2014).
  • Watt, Ian (1957). The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding. Berkeley: University of Los Angeles Press.

External links

Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker–McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only novels written by Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (and later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014 it was widened to any English-language novel—a change which proved controversial.A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the "longlist".

Dracula

Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced the character of Count Dracula, and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel, and invasion literature. The novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film, and television interpretations.

Dune (novel)

Dune is a 1965 science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine. It tied with Roger Zelazny's This Immortal for the Hugo Award in 1966, and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is the first installment of the Dune saga, and in 2003 was cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel.Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which various noble houses control planetary fiefs, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose family accepts the stewardship of the planet Arrakis. While the planet is an inhospitable and sparsely populated desert wasteland, it is the only source of melange, or "the spice", a drug that extends life and enhances mental abilities. As melange can only be produced on Arrakis, control of the planet is a coveted and dangerous undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice.The scion and heir of the Atreides family, Paul is believed to be a candidate for the Kwisatz Haderach, a messianic figure whose coming is fortold by the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. On Arrakis, Paul and his family are betrayed by the Emperor and the former overlords of the planet, House Harkonnen, and Paul seeks refuge with the Fremen, the nomadic natives of Arrakis. Paul becomes a messianic leader of the Fremen and is dubbed Muad'Dib. He is trained in the Fremen ways, including the riding of gigantic sandworms, whose life cycle is important in the production of melange. Paul trains the Fremen into a fighting force, and leads an assault on the Emperor and the Harkonnen for control of Arrakis. The book ends with Paul's defeat of the Emperor, and upon assuming the Imperial throne himself, he expresses doubt that even he can control the Fremen or stop the coming revolution that he has unleashed on the universe.

Herbert wrote five sequels: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune. The first novel also inspired a 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch, the 2000 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Frank Herbert's Dune and its 2003 sequel Frank Herbert's Children of Dune (which combines the events of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune), a series of computer games, several board games, songs, and a series of followups, including prequels and sequels, that were co-written by Kevin J. Anderson and the author's son, Brian Herbert, starting in 1999. A new film adaptation directed by Denis Villeneuve is scheduled to be released on November 20, 2020.

Since 2009, the names of planets from the Dune novels have been adopted for the real-life nomenclature of plains and other features on Saturn's moon Titan.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. The book's tagline explains the title: "Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns..." The lead character, Guy Montag, is a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring literature and destroying knowledge, eventually quitting his job and committing himself to the preservation of literary and cultural writings.

The novel has been the subject of interpretations focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview, Bradbury said that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he described the book as a commentary on how mass media reduces interest in reading literature.In 1954, Fahrenheit 451 won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and the Commonwealth Club of California Gold Medal. It later won the Prometheus "Hall of Fame" Award in 1984 and a "Retro" Hugo Award, one of only six Best Novel Retro Hugos ever given, in 2004. Bradbury was honored with a Spoken Word Grammy nomination for his 1976 audiobook version.Adaptations of the novel include François Truffaut's 1966 film adaptation and a 1982 BBC Radio dramatization. Bradbury published a stage play version in 1979 and helped develop a 1984 interactive fiction computer game titled Fahrenheit 451, as well as a collection of his short stories titled A Pleasure to Burn. HBO released a television film based on the novel and written and directed by Ramin Bahrani in 2018.

Frankenstein

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in 1823.

Shelley travelled through Europe in 1814, journeying along the river Rhine in Germany with a stop in Gernsheim, which is 17 kilometres (11 mi) away from Frankenstein Castle, where, two centuries before, an alchemist was engaged in experiments. Later, she travelled in the region of Geneva (Switzerland)—where much of the story takes place—and the topic of galvanism and occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her lover and future husband, Percy Shelley. Mary, Percy and Lord Byron decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for days, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made; her dream later evolved into the novel's story.Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. At the same time, it is an early example of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story because, in contrast to previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. It has had a considerable influence in literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories, films and plays.

Since the novel's publication, the name "Frankenstein" has often been used to refer to the monster itself. This usage is considered erroneous, but some usage commentators regard it as well-established and acceptable. In the novel, the monster is identified by words such as "creature", "monster", "daemon", "wretch", "abortion", "fiend" and "it". Speaking to Victor Frankenstein, the monster says "I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel" (which ties to Lucifer in Paradise Lost, which the monster reads, and which relates to the disobedience of Prometheus in the book's subtitle).

Gothic fiction

Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Its origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled (in its second edition) "A Gothic Story". The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole's novel. It originated in England in the second half of the 18th century where, following Walpole, it was further developed by Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe, William Thomas Beckford and Matthew Lewis. The genre had much success in the 19th century, as witnessed in prose by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the works of Edgar Allan Poe as well as Charles Dickens with his novella, A Christmas Carol, and in poetry in the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Byron. Another well known novel in this genre, dating from the late Victorian era, is Bram Stoker's Dracula. The name Gothic, which originally referred to the Goths, and then came to mean "German", refers to the medieval Gothic architecture, in which many of these stories take place. This extreme form of Romanticism was very popular throughout Europe, especially among English- and German-language writers and artists. The English Gothic novel also led to new novel types such as the German Schauerroman and the French Roman Noir.

Graphic novel

A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" normally refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. It is distinguished from the term "comic book", which is generally used for comics periodicals.

Fan historian Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel" in an essay in the November 1964 issue of the comics fanzine Capa-Alpha. The term gained popularity in the comics community after the publication of Will Eisner's A Contract with God (1978) and the start of Marvel's Graphic Novel line (1982) and became familiar to the public in the late 1980s after the commercial successes of the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1986 and the collected editions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1987. The Book Industry Study Group began using "graphic novel" as a category in book stores in 2001.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).

Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, on 26 June 1997, the books have found immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. They have attracted a wide adult audience as well as younger readers and are often considered cornerstones of modern young adult literature. The series has also had its share of criticism, including concern about the increasingly dark tone as the series progressed, as well as the often gruesome and graphic violence it depicts. As of February 2018, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final instalment selling roughly eleven million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release.

The series was originally published in English by two major publishers, Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and Scholastic Press in the United States. A play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on a story co-written by Rowling, premiered in London on 30 July 2016 at the Palace Theatre, and its script was published by Little, Brown. The original seven books were adapted into an eight-part film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is the third highest-grossing film series of all time as of February 2018. In 2016, the total value of the Harry Potter franchise was estimated at $25 billion, making Harry Potter one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

A series of many genres, including fantasy, drama, coming of age, and the British school story (which includes elements of mystery, thriller, adventure, horror, and romance), the world of Harry Potter explores numerous themes and includes many cultural meanings and references. According to Rowling, the main theme is death. Other major themes in the series include prejudice, corruption, and madness.The success of the books and films has allowed the Harry Potter franchise to expand with numerous derivative works, a travelling exhibition that premiered in Chicago in 2009, a studio tour in London that opened in 2012, a digital platform on which J.K. Rowling updates the series with new information and insight, and a pentalogy of spin-off films premiering in November 2016 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, among many other developments. Most recently, themed attractions, collectively known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been built at several Universal Parks & Resorts amusement parks around the world.

Lolita

Lolita is a 1955 novel written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. Many authors consider it the greatest work of the 20th century, and it has been included in several lists of best books, such as Time's List of the 100 Best Novels, Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century, Bokklubben World Library and The Big Read. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a middle-aged literature professor under the pseudonym Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with a 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores. The novel was originally written in English and first published in Paris in 1955 by Olympia Press. Later it was translated into Russian by Nabokov himself and published in New York City in 1967 by Phaedra Publishers.

Lolita quickly attained a classic status. The novel was adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick in 1962, and again in 1997 by Adrian Lyne. It has also been adapted several times for the stage and has been the subject of two operas, two ballets, and an acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Broadway musical. Its assimilation into popular culture is such that the name "Lolita" has been used to imply that a young girl is sexually precocious.

Mary Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

After Wollstonecraft's death less than a month after her daughter Mary was born, Mary was raised by Godwin, who was able to provide his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his own anarchist political theories. When Mary was four, her father married a neighbour, with whom, as her stepmother, Mary came to have a troubled relationship.In 1814, Mary began a romance with one of her father's political followers, Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was already married. Together with Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont, Mary and Shelley left for France and travelled through Europe. Upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in late 1816, after the suicide of Percy Shelley's first wife, Harriet.

In 1816, the couple famously spent a summer with Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont near Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary conceived the idea for her novel Frankenstein. The Shelleys left Britain in 1818 for Italy, where their second and third children died before Mary Shelley gave birth to her last and only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm near Viareggio. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, most likely caused by the brain tumour which killed her at age 53.

Until the 1970s, Mary Shelley was known mainly for her efforts to publish her husband's works and for her novel Frankenstein, which remains widely read and has inspired many theatrical and film adaptations. Recent scholarship has yielded a more comprehensive view of Mary Shelley’s achievements. Scholars have shown increasing interest in her literary output, particularly in her novels, which include the historical novels Valperga (1823) and Perkin Warbeck (1830), the apocalyptic novel The Last Man (1826), and her final two novels, Lodore (1835) and Falkner (1837). Studies of her lesser-known works, such as the travel book Rambles in Germany and Italy (1844) and the biographical articles for Dionysius Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia (1829–46), support the growing view that Mary Shelley remained a political radical throughout her life. Mary Shelley's works often argue that cooperation and sympathy, particularly as practised by women in the family, were the ways to reform civil society. This view was a direct challenge to the individualistic Romantic ethos promoted by Percy Shelley and the Enlightenment political theories articulated by her father, William Godwin.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell published in June 1949. The novel is set in the year 1984 when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and propaganda.

In the novel, Great Britain ("Airstrip One") has become a province of a superstate named Oceania. Oceania is ruled by the "Party", who employ the "Thought Police" to persecute individualism and independent thinking. The Party's leader is Big Brother, who enjoys an intense cult of personality but may not even exist. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a rank-and-file Party member. Smith is an outwardly diligent and skillful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. Smith rebels by entering a forbidden relationship with fellow employee Julia.

As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot, and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common usage since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which connotes official deception, secret surveillance, brazenly misleading terminology and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editors' list, and 6 on the readers' list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

Novella

A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.

The English word "novella" derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new". The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of the protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Britain.

Mr. Bennet of the Longbourn estate has five daughters, but his property is entailed, meaning that none of the girls can inherit it. His wife has no fortune, so it is imperative that at least one of the girls marry well to support the others upon his death. Jane Austen's opening line, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife", is a sentence filled with irony and playfulness. The novel revolves around the importance of marrying for love, not simply for money, despite the social pressures to make a good (i.e., wealthy) match.

Pride and Prejudice has long fascinated readers, consistently appearing near the top of lists of "most-loved books" among literary scholars and the general public. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, with over 20 million copies sold and paved the way for many archetypes that abound in modern literature. For more than a century, amateur and professional dramatic adaptations, print continuations and sequels and film and TV versions of Pride and Prejudice have portrayed the memorable characters and themes in the novel, to reach mass audiences. The 2005 film Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, is the most recent Hollywood adaptation of the book.

Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, many of which have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television series, and comic books. King has published 58 novels (including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman) and six non-fiction books. He has written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections.

King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards. In 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire oeuvre, such as the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (2004), and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America (2007). In 2015, King was awarded with a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts for his contributions to literature. He has been described as the "King of Horror".

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a story by J. D. Salinger, partially published in serial form in 1945–1946 and as a novel in 1951. A classic novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular among adolescent readers for its themes of angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages.Around 1 million copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection.

The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003, it was listed at #15 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession with the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.Fitzgerald—inspired by the parties he had attended while visiting Long Island's North Shore—began planning the novel in 1923, desiring to produce, in his words, "something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." Progress was slow, with Fitzgerald completing his first draft following a move to the French Riviera in 1924. His editor, Maxwell Perkins, felt the book was vague and persuaded the author to revise over the following winter. Fitzgerald was repeatedly ambivalent about the book's title and he considered a variety of alternatives, including titles that referred to the Roman character Trimalchio; the title he was last documented to have desired was Under the Red, White, and Blue.

First published by Scribner's in April 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly; in its first year, the book sold only 20,000 copies. Fitzgerald died in 1940, believing himself to be a failure and his work forgotten. However, the novel experienced a revival during World War II, and became a part of American high school curricula and numerous stage and film adaptations in the following decades. Today, The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary classic and a contender for the title "Great American Novel." In 1998, the Modern Library editorial board voted it the 20th century's best American novel and second best English-language novel of the same time period.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old.

The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. Historian, J Crespino explains, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."As a Southern Gothic and Bildungsroman novel, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in the United States with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets.

Reaction to the novel varied widely upon publication. Despite the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education, literary analysis of it is sparse. Author Mary McDonough Murphy, who collected individual impressions of To Kill a Mockingbird by several authors and public figures, calls the book "an astonishing phenomenon". In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die". It was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown.

To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only published book until Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 14, 2015. Lee continued to respond to her work's impact until her death in February 2016, although she had refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.

War and Peace

War and Peace (pre-reform Russian: Война и миръ; post-reform Russian: Война и мир, translit. Vojna i mir [vɐjˈna i ˈmʲir]) is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy. It is regarded as a central work of world literature and one of Tolstoy's finest literary achievements.The novel chronicles the history of the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families. Portions of an earlier version, titled The Year 1805, were serialized in The Russian Messenger from 1865 to 1867. The novel was first published in its entirety in 1869.Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." Large sections, especially the later chapters, are a philosophical discussion rather than narrative. Tolstoy also said that the best Russian literature does not conform to standards and hence hesitated to call War and Peace a novel. Instead, he regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel. The Encyclopædia Britannica states: "It can be argued that no single English novel attains the universality of the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace".

Young adult fiction

Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults.The subject matter and genres of YA correlate with the age and experience of the protagonist. The genres available in YA are expansive and include most of those found in adult fiction. Common themes related to YA include: friendship, first love, relationships, and identity. Stories that focus on the specific challenges of youth are sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming-of-age novels.Young adult fiction was developed to soften the transition between children's novels and adult literature.

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