The Novel, Volume 1

The Novel, Volume 1 : History, Geography, and Culture

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Nearly as global in its ambition and sweep as its subject, Franco Moretti's The Novel is a watershed event in the understanding of the first truly planetary literary form. A translated selection from the epic five-volume Italian Il Romanzo (2001-2003), The Novel's two volumes are a unified multiauthored reference work, containing more than one hundred specially commissioned essays by leading contemporary critics from around the world. Providing the first international comparative reassessment of the novel, these essential volumes reveal the form in unprecedented depth and breadth--as a great cultural, social, and human phenomenon that stretches from the ancient Greeks to today, where modernity itself is unimaginable without the genre. By viewing the novel as much more than an aesthetic form, this landmark collection demonstrates how the genre has transformed human emotions and behavior, and the very perception of reality. Historical, statistical, and formal analyses show the novel as a complex literary system, in which new forms proliferate in every period and place.
Volume 1: History, Geography, and Culture, looks at the novel mostly from the outside, treating the transition from oral to written storytelling and the rise of narrative and fictionality, and covering the ancient Greek novel, the novel in premodern China, the early Spanish novel, and much else, including readings of novels from around the world. These books will be essential reading for all students and scholars of literature.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 928 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 48.26mm | 1,276g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 7 halftones. 29 line illus. 23 tables.
  • 0691127182
  • 9780691127187
  • 550,651

Table of contents

On The Novel ix 1.1. A STRUGGLE FOR SPACE 1 From Oral to Written: An Anthropological Breakthrough in Storytelling by JACK GOODY 3 The Control of the Imagination and the Novel by LUIZ COSTA LIMA 37 Historiography and Fiction in Chinese Culture by HENRY Y. H. ZHAO 69 The Novel on Trial by WALTER SITI 94 1.2. P OLYGENESIS The Ancient Greek Novel: A Single Model or a Plurality of Forms? by TOMAS HAGG 125 Medieval French Romance by ALBERTO VARVARO 156 The Novel in Premodern China by ANDREW H. PLAKS 181 Critical Apparatus: The Semantic Field of "Narrative" Stefano Levi Della Torre, Midrash 217 Maurizio Bettini, Mythos/Fabula 225 Adriana Boscaro, Monogatari 241 Judith T. Zeitlin, Xiaoshuo 249 Abdelfattah Kilito, Qisa 262 Piero Boitani, Romance 269 Maria Di Salvo, Povest' 283 1.3. THE EUROPEAN ACCELERATION The Short, Happy Life of the Novel in Spain by JOAN RAMON RESINA 291 313Forms of Popular Narrative in France and England: 1700-1900 by DANIEL COU{{Eacute}}GNAS The Rise of Fictionality by CATHERINE GALLAGHER 336 Serious Century by FRANCO MORETTI 364 The Ruse of the Russian Novel by WILLIAM MILLS TODD III 401 1.4. THE CIRCLE WIDENS Critical Apparatus: The Market for Novels-Some Statistical Profiles James Raven, Britain, 1750-1830 429 John Austin, United States, 1780-1850 455 Giovanni Ragone, Italy, 1815-1870 466 Elisa Marti-Lopez and Mario Santana, Spain, 1843-1900 479 Priya Joshi, India, 1850-1900 495 Jonathan Zwicker, Japan, 1850-1900 509 Wendy Griswold, Nigeria, 1950-2000 521 The Sign of the Voice: Orality and Writing in the United States by ALESSANDRO PORTELLI 531 The Long Nineteenth Century of the Japanese Novel by JONATHAN ZWICKER 553 Epic and Novel in India by MEENAKSHI MUKHERJEE 596 The Novel of a Continent: Latin America by GERALD MARTIN 632 The Extroverted African Novel by EILEEN JULIEN 667 1.5. TOWARD WORLD LITERATURE The Novelists' International by MICHAEL DENNING 703 Fecundities of the Unexpected: Magical Realism, Narrative, and History by ATO QUAYSON 726 Readings: Traditions in Contact Abdelfattah Kilito, Al-Saq 'ala al-saq f im a huwa al-Faryaq (Ahmad Faris Shidya q, Paris, 1855) 759 Norma Field, Drifting Clouds (Futabatei Shimei, Japan, 1887-1889) 766 Jale Parla, A Carriage Affair (Recaizade Mahmut Ekrem, Turkey, 1896) 775 Jongyon Hwang, The Heartless (Yi Kwangsu, Korea, 1917) 781 M. Keith Booker, Chaka (Thomas Mofolo, South Africa, 1925) 786 M. R. Ghanoonparvar, The Blind Owl (Sadeq Hedayat, Iran, 1941) 794 Readings: Americas Alessandro Portelli, Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, United States, 1852) 805 Roberto Schwarz, Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas ( J. M. Machado de Assis, Brazil, 1880) 816 Jonathan Arac, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain, United States, 1884) 841 Ernesto Franco, Pedro Paramo ( Juan Rulfo, Mexico, 1955) 855 Stephanie Merrim, Grande Sertao: Veredas ( Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, 1956) 862 Jose Miguel Oviedo, The Death of Artemio Cruz (Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, 1962) 870 Clarisse Zimra, Lone Sun (Daniel Maximin, Guadeloupe, 1981) 876 Alessandro Portelli, Beloved (Toni Morrison, United States, 1987) 886 Contributors 893 Author Index 897 Works Cited Index 907
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Review quote

Honorable Mention for the 2006 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Multi Volume Reference Works/Humanities & Social Sciences, Association of American Publishers One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2007 "The most crucial aspect of the Il romanzo project is the idea driving it to see literature globally, to free 'the novel' from its modernist, strictly Western center of emergence and consider instead how the form has mutated around the world, and why."--Emilie Bickerton, Bookforum "It's a rare literary critic who attracts so much public attention, and there's good reason: few are as hell-bent on rethinking the way we talk about literature... There's no question that people will still be talking about these volumes twenty-five years from now."--Eric Bluson, Times Literary Supplement "Moretti and his contributors have succeeded in making the study of the novel--if not the entire 'literary field'--'longer, larger and deeper' than it was before, or than any single scholar could ever make it."--David Trotter, London Review of Books "[A] very ambitious collection ... The Novel is an impressive achievement, and precisely because Moretti was so willing to include perspectives that diverge sharply from his own."--William Deresiewicz, Nation Praise for Italian edition: "There are books that you read and reread, others that you consult when useful or just for the pleasure ... [The Novel] belongs to both categories because it is much more than a mere collection of essays on a specific subject (in this case, the novel as literary genre, reinterpreted through contributions by novelists, critics, philosophers, anthropologists, and historians from every part of the world). Its changing, evocative flavors are so mouthwatering that it is like a platter of tapas, the little appetizers served by Catalans before a meal, which often take the place of an entire meal. The topic is books--a continuous game of citations and reflections. From the outset, it gives the reader symptoms of an ancient hunger. We are not sure what pushes us to read it and we try to grab and hold on to as much of it as possible ... [The Novel] is not a book. It is a Pantagruelian feast that awakens limitless appetites. It helps to remind us how many flavors can be found in literature and--above all--how many we have lost by eating fast food for the brain."--Diego De Silva, Il Mattino Praise for Italian edition: "[The Novel is a] heroic attempt to capture the great animal of words that we call The Novel. The hunting strategy employed by Franco Moretti and his contributors proves complex and articulated but at the same time oblique and diversified. A merely systematic work could never handle this subject. Neither could a totally anarchic approach ... This work is destined to occupy an important place in contemporary reflections on the novel and on narrative forms in general. The essays are agile but not superficial, specialized but readable, and current ... More than anything else, [The Novel] arouses one's desire to read and reread literary works."--Dario Voltolini, La Stampa Praise for Italian edition: "[These] interesting, useful books ... are not humble, simply informative manuals: they offer essays that lead in multiple directions and examine fundamental problems and questions. They assess the breadth of current studies and they establish an analytical horizon for advanced contemporary culture."--Giulio Ferrot, L'Unita "When you open The Novel ... you may think you know what a novel is; by the time you close it ... you are no longer sure... The sheer diversity of topics here is exciting and opens up many new horizons... It is impossible to understand why the novel has been the quintessential modern art form, and why it has appealed to writers and readers around the globe, without understanding the circumstances of its rise in Western Europe in the 18th century... [I]t helped to incarnate the modern sensibility, and to teach its readers what it means to be modern... If the novel is indeed losing its central position in our imaginative life ... it can only be because modernity itself is slipping away, with all it distinctive promise and menace."--Adam Kirsch, The New York Sun "An essential resource for all academic collections serving students of language and literature."--Thomas L. Cooksey, Library Journal "This two-volume set is the most important resource on the novel now available. Like the novel itself, this work spans the globe and the centuries... Essential."--Choice "No reader will come away from these volumes without a long list of novels they now want to read--novels, in many cases, well-known within their own linguistic or national tradition but unfamiliar outside of it... [This is] a project so capacious, so audacious, so polyvocal--in a word, so novel."--Leah Price, Novel: A Forum on Fiction "There is a great deal to relish here...Moretti and his contributors have succeeded in making the study of the novel--if not the entire 'literary field'--'longer, larger and deeper' that it was before, or than any single scholar could ever make it."--London Review Bookshop "Hugely ambitious... Explores fiction with a capaciousness that's exhilarating as well as eye-opening, as a galactic crew of critics swoop in on subjects ranging from ancient China to Toni Morrison."--Marina Warner, The New Statesman "Moretti's ability in his own criticism to use a playful, informal style is quite remarkable; he quickly puts readers at ease as he calls into question a great deal of what they think they know about narrative... In short, both the range and the content of these essays are exceptionally lively and dynamic, and the writing is sophisticated."--Brian Evenson, Novel: A Forum on Fiction
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About Franco Moretti

Franco Moretti is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University, where he founded the Center for the Study of the Novel. He is the author of "Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World, Modern Epic, Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900," and "Graphs, Maps, Trees".
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