Cover: Theory of the Novel, from Harvard University PressCover: Theory of the Novel in HARDCOVER

Theory of the Novel

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$43.50 • £34.95 • €39.00

ISBN 9780674333727

Publication Date: 01/02/2017


408 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 line illustration


  • Translator’s Note
  • Introduction: Truth and Literature
    • Why the Novel Matters
    • Books of Life
    • Games of Truth
    • Literature and Reality
    • What Is the Novel?
  • 1. A Theory of Narrative
    • People and Leaves
    • Mimesis and Concept
    • The Hidden Contents of Mimesis
    • The Confines of Mimesis
    • Between Nothingness and Ideas: The Mimetic Discontinuity
    • Stories
    • Narrative and Existential Analytics
    • Narrators
    • Levels of Reality
    • Being in the World
  • 2. The Origin of the Novel
    • Historical Semantics
    • The Question of Origins
    • The First Corpus
    • Symbolic Thresholds: 1550
    • Symbolic Thresholds: 1670
    • The Territory of the Romance
    • The Territory of the Novel
    • The Rise of the Novel
  • 3. The Novel and the Literature of the Ancien Régime
    • The Dialectic of Continuity and Change
    • A Cohesive Epoch
    • Classicism and the Separation of Styles
    • Aesthetic Platonism
    • Moralism and Allegory
    • Moralistic Apparatuses, Poetic Justice, Exemplary Heroes
    • The Legitimization of the Romance
    • The Legitimization of the Novel
  • 4. The Book of Particular Life
    • The Romance and Private Aims
    • Suspense, Entrelacement, and the Romanesque
    • The History of Private Lives
    • A Discursive Gap
    • The Pathos of Proximity
    • The Interesting
    • The Novel’s Readership
    • Particular Life
    • National Differences: France and England
  • 5. The Birth of the Modern Novel
    • Freedom from the Rules of Style
    • Freedom from Allegory and Morality
    • Moralism, Empathy, and Observation
    • A New Conceptual Ether
    • The Weight of Novels
    • The Expansion of the Narratable World
    • The Middle Station of Life
    • The Serious Mimesis of Everyday Life
    • The World of Prose
    • Center and Periphery
    • Narrative Democracy
  • 6. The Nineteenth-Century Paradigm
    • Abstractions
    • Realisms
    • The Frameworks of the Nineteenth-Century Paradigm
    • The Figurative Novel and Its Theatrical Model
    • The Discovery of the Environment
    • Dependent Individuals
    • The Melodramatic Model
    • The Significance of the Melodramatic Novel
    • The Romance in the Novel, Special Characters
    • The Novel of Personal Destinies
    • A Map of the Nineteenth-Century Paradigm
  • 7. The Transition to Modernism
    • The Second Phase of Nineteenth-Century Realism
    • Realism without Melodrama
    • Historical Stations
    • New Narrators
    • New Plots
    • New Characters
    • Three Turning Points
    • Short Stories and Epiphanies
    • Worlds Apart
    • Modern Forms of the Romance
    • The Sense of a Transformation
  • 8. On Contemporary Fiction
    • After Modernism
    • The Decline of the New
    • A Multiple Archipelago
  • Conclusion: A Theory of the Novel
    • The Genre of Particularity
    • Relativism and Perspectivism
    • An Analytics of Existence
    • Discursive Transformations
    • The Design of This Book
    • On the Present State of Things
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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