The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740

The Origins of the English Novel The Origins of the English Novel combines historical analysis and readings of extraordinarily diverse texts to reconceive the foundations of the dominant genre of the modern era Now on th

  • Title: The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740
  • Author: Michael McKeon
  • ISBN: 9780801869594
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Origins of the English Novel, 1600 1740, combines historical analysis and readings of extraordinarily diverse texts to reconceive the foundations of the dominant genre of the modern era Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of its initial publication, The Origins of the English Novel stands as essential reading The anniversary edition features a new introduction in whichThe Origins of the English Novel, 1600 1740, combines historical analysis and readings of extraordinarily diverse texts to reconceive the foundations of the dominant genre of the modern era Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of its initial publication, The Origins of the English Novel stands as essential reading The anniversary edition features a new introduction in which the author reflects on the considerable response and commentary the book has attracted since its publication by describing dialectical method and by applying it to early modern notions of gender.Challenging prevailing theories that tie the origins of the novel to the ascendancy of realism and the middle class, McKeon argues that this new genre arose in response to the profound instability of literary and social categories Between 1600 and 1740, momentous changes took place in European attitudes toward truth in narrative and toward virtue in the individual and the social order The novel emerged, McKeon contends, as a cultural instrument designed to engage the epistemological and social crises of the age.

    One thought on “The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740”

    1. This is an important work in the history of the novel, but I'm not that blown away by it. McKeon takes "questions of virtue" and "questions of truth" as productive to the history of the novel. He spends more than half of the book cataloging the "pre-history" of the novel before he engages in close reading of any 18c novels. He doesn't end up that different from Watt.

    2. McKeon argues “that the problems associated with the thesis of the rise of the novel in the early modern period may be overcome by re-conceiving that thesis according to the assumptions of a dialectical theory of genre The instability of generic and social categories in the period from 1600 to 1740 is symptomatic of a change in attitudes about how truth and virtue are most authentically signified… The novel comes into existence in order to mediate this change in attitudes and it therefore is [...]

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