Reinventions of the Novel: Histories and Aesthetics of a Protean Genre

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Karen-Margrethe Simonsen, Marianne Ping Huang, Mads Rosendahl Thomsen
Rodopi, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 346 pages
The history of the Novel is a story of perpetual change, so that its identity still remains open to question. The sixteen articles inReinventions of the Novel investigate connections, differences and similarities in the Novel around the world for the past three hundred years. Rather than searching for the essence of the genre, they look for the formal and thematic patterns on which the novel thrives, considering such matters as tradition and modernity, realism, rhetoric and identity, tableau and spatiality, and wondering whether epic and avant-garde are not quite contradictory terms. Close readings combined with historical overviews and theoretical discussions open up new constellations in the history of the novel. Untraditional cross-readings are made between Rabelais and Jens Peter Jacobsen and between Balzac and Nicholson Baker. Transformations of traditional modes of epic, biography and Bildung are traced as far as Georges Perec and GŁnter Grass, while canonical classics like Proust, Joyce, Richardson and Goethe are read in prosaic, pragmatic and media specific contexts. In the 1920s many people predicted the death of the novel; now more than ever it seems to be the dominant literary form – perhaps because it is the same, yet always different.

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Tradition and Modernity
On Malcolm Lowrys Under the Volcano
The Scandal of Realism
Jens Peter Lund Nielsen
Resistance to Mimetic
On Typographical Constiousness
Identity Dialogism and Rhetoric
Leaming to Miscalculare in Dialogues with Wilhrlm Meister
Frederik Tygstrup
KarenMargrethe Simonsen
The Novel and the AvantGarde
Steen Klitgard Povlsen
Mads Rosendabl Thomsen

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Page 20 - That which is original is never revealed in the naked and manifest existence of the factual; its rhythm is apparent only to a dual insight. On the one hand it needs to be recognized as a process of restoration and re-establishment, but, on the other hand, and precisely because of this, as something imperfect and incomplete.
Page 7 - And the result of this examination is: we see a complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing: sometimes overall similarities, sometimes similarities of detail.
Page 23 - And now, my boys, I shall praise Socrates in a figure which will appear to him to be a caricature, and yet I speak, not to make fun of him, but only for the truth's sake. I say, that he is exactly like the busts of Silenus, which are set up in the statuaries...

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