Thursday, January 02, 2014

The True Story of the Novel (7): The Modern Novel

Gustave Doré: Don Quixote and Sancho Setting Out (1863)

One of the best university courses I ever did was a lecture series on the eighteenth-century novel, with Dr Jonathan Lamb. It must have been about thirty years ago: in 1982, I think - shortly before he forsook Auckland university for the brighter lights of the United States, in any case.

His idea was to trace the "Cervantine novel" from its origins in Don Quixote; thence to Fielding's Shamela, Joseph Andrews, and Tom Jones; and finally on to Smollett's Roderick Random and Humphrey Clinker, with side-excursions into Hogarth and Le Sage - though not, interestingly, Defoe or Richardson. I'd been expecting something far more akin to Ian Watts' standard doctrine of the rise of the bourgeois novel, whereas this offered a whole new perspective on the (so-called) "picaresque" novel of incident. Fielding's idea of the novel as a "comic epic in prose" was much to the fore, as I recall.

I don't how original this approach actually was, but it seemed brilliantly insightful to me at the time, and offered me a whole new way of thinking about a series of books I'd previously known mainly as the contents of a cupboard in David Copperfield's house:
My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs, to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, the Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and Robinson Crusoe, came out, a glorious host, to keep me company. They kept alive my fancy, and my hope of something beyond that place and time ...

I guess that's what started me off questioning Ian Watt's account of the Rise of the Novel. Successive unsuccessful attempts to read Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa did contrast rather sharply with the entertainment and profit I found in such works as The Golden Ass, The Tale of Genji, and The Red Chamber Dream, not one of which could be regarded as a "novel" according to Watts's somewhat reductionist genealogy.

In short, if the coveted title of "first novelist" came down to a stark choice between Samuel Richardson and Lady Murasaki (ignoring for a moment the prior claims of Apuleius or Heliodorus), I was always going to vote for the Japanese candidate. Watts's vision (somewhat inevitably, given the fact that his book first appeared in 1957) seemed to culminate in the stultifying confines of the pre-60s British novel: John Braine, C. P. Snow, Muriel Spark, and even duller apostles of the middle class tea-&-adultery-in-the-provinces school.

The vistas opened up for me by Jonathan Lamb (together with my own reading in the non-European fictional traditions of Arabia, China, Iceland, India, Japan, Persia) appeared to offer a far more fruitful explanation of the magic realism and postmodern game-playing which had come to characterise the novels of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

So if it's that obvious that Watts's schema is inadequate, why has it taken so long for people to wake up to the fact? Why do people still teach his outdated doctrines in so many schools and universities?

Well, one partial answer - sheer ignorance - is given in the essay "Farther Away: Robinson Crusoe, David Foster Wallace, and the Island of Solitude," by American novelist Jonathan Franzen, published in the New Yorker in 2011. Franzen begins with a brief account of his personal experience of the boredom and alienation of modern life:
... every morning the same revving doses of nicotine and caffeine; every evening the same assault on my e-mail queue; every night the same drinking for the same brain-dulling pop of pleasure. At a certain point, having read about Masafuera [the island on which the alleged model for Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, was marooned - or, rather, marooned himself - from 1704 to 1709], I began to imagine running away and being alone there, like Selkirk, in the interior of the island, where nobody lives even seasonally.

Carl Scottsberg: The Ruin of a Hut On Masafuera (1924)

No doubt with his eventual essay already in mind, he is careful to take with him a copy of Defoe's novel:
I also thought it might be good, while I was there, to reread the book generally considered to be the first English novel [my italics]. “Robinson Crusoe” was the great early document of radical individualism, the story of an ordinary person’s practical and psychic survival in profound isolation. The novelistic enterprise associated with individualism — the search for meaning in realistic narrative — went on to become the culture’s dominant literary mode for the next three centuries. Crusoe’s voice can be heard in the voice of Jane Eyre, the Underground Man, the Invisible Man, and Sartre’s Roquentin.

That list of places where Crusoe's voice "can be heard" - in novels by (respectively) Charlotte Brontë, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ralph Ellison (presumably: rather than H. G. Wells), and Jean-Paul Sartre - sounds impressively erudite. One can't help wondering, though, if it's linguistic and cultural diversity isn't intended as some kind of corrective to an previous list in another essay by Franzen, "Mr. Difficult: William Gaddis and the Problem of Hard-to-Read Books," where he came clean about his own problems with some of the more difficult nuts to crack in the canon of world fiction:
Even as an adult, I consider myself a slattern of a reader. I have started (in many cases, more than once) "Moby-Dick," "The Man Without Qualities," "Mason & Dixon," "Don Quixote," "Remembrance of Things Past," "Doctor Faustus," "Naked Lunch," "The Golden Bowl," and "The Golden Notebook" without coming anywhere near finishing them. Indeed, by a comfortable margin, the most difficult book I ever voluntarily read in its entirety was Gaddis's nine-hundred-and-fifty-six-page first novel, "The Recognitions."

It's seldom a great idea to confess to your own ignorance. I haven't read all of the above either, but I'm not going to tell you which ones are still sitting on the ol' too-hard pile. More to the point, however, Franzen's infamous dissing of Oprah Winfrey, after she had selected his breakthrough novel The Corrections for her book club in 2001 (she responded by unselecting it), had given him a rep as an uppity intellectual snob, which he seemed - back then, at any rate - eager to correct. Later he appears to have decided just to go with it. You can never feign enough dumbness to satisfy the truly dumb. To return to the "Robinson Crusoe" essay, though, Franzen continues to elaborate on his theme of the dullness of existence for quite some time:
... there persisted, in the very word “novel,” with its promise of novelty, a memory of more youthful experiences so engrossing that I could sit quietly for hours and never think of boredom. Ian Watt, in his classic “The Rise of the Novel,” correlated the eighteenth-century burgeoning of novelistic production with the growing demand for at-home entertainment by women who’d been liberated from traditional household tasks and had too much time on their hands. In a very direct way, according to Watt, the English novel had risen from the ashes of boredom.

Really? I think Ian Watt might be a bit surprised to read this précis of his argument, but it is at least interesting to discover that: 1/ the novel arose primarily as a response to boredom (doesn't all literature? one is tempted to add); and 2/ since middle-class women weren't any longer more usefully employed by doing chores, and therefore had "too much time on their hands," it became necessary to produce novels for them instead.

This evidence-free set of assertions (which unfortunately founders on the rock of the innumerable pre-eighteenth century novels of all kinds chronicled with such relentless industry by Steven Moore in his 2,000 page tome The Novel: An Alternative History) unfortunately signals another dominant theme in Franzen's writing: misognyny.

Here are some choice plums from Franzen's New Yorker piece on turn-of-the-century American female novelist Edith Wharton:
Wharton did have one potentially redeeming disadvantage: she wasn't pretty.

That her ... twenty-eight years of marriage were almost entirely sexless was perhaps less a function of her looks than of her sexual ignorance.

Wharton might well be more congenial to us now, if alongside her other advantages, she’d looked like Grace Kelly or Jacqueline Kennedy.

[The House of Mirth] can be read … as a sadistically slow and thorough punishment of the pretty girl she couldn’t be.

Franzen's bizarre line of argument prompted a response, "Not Pretty", by novelist Victoria Patterson in the LA Review of Books, where she complains that "He’d taken a literary hero and written about her as if ranking a Maxim photo spread”:
Do we even have to say that physical beauty is beside the point when discussing the work of a major author? Was Tolstoy pretty? Is Franzen? Wharton’s appearance has no relevance to her work. Franzen perpetuates the typically patriarchal standard of ranking a woman’s beauty before discussing her merits, whether she is an intellectual, artist, politician, activist, or musician.

I don't myself have strong views on whether or not Franzen is really "anti-women" - though one can certainly find some hair-raising comments on the subject scattered throughout his oeuvre, not least in Freedom, his fourth novel. His diagnosis, quoted above, of the "origins" of the English novel (bored women with too much time on their hands), does, however, sound startlingly close to his explanation, in a radio interview, of just why he felt so uncomfortable about seeing Oprah's bookclub logo on the cover of The Corrections:
So much of reading is sustained in this country, I think, by the fact that women read while men are off golfing or watching football on TV or playing with their flight simulator or whatever. I worry — I'm sorry that it's, uh — I had some hope of actually reaching a male audience and I've heard more than one reader in signing lines now at bookstores say "If I hadn't heard you, I would have been put off by the fact that it is an Oprah pick. I figure those books are for women. I would never touch it." Those are male readers speaking ...

Oink, oink, Mr. Franzen? "I had some hope of actually [my emphasis] reaching a male audience" -- not just those pesky females who squander their time reading "while men are off" doing manly things such as "golfing or watching football on TV or playing with their flight simulator" ...

Be that as it may - returning to our starting-point, his essay on Robinson Crusoe and Aelxander Selkirk (with a few reflections on the recent suicide of his friend David Foster Wallace thrown in for good measure):
With three more days to fill and my knees worn out by downhill hiking, I had no choice but to start reading Samuel Richardson’s first novel, “Pamela,” which I’d brought along mainly because it’s a lot shorter than “Clarissa.” All I’d known about “Pamela” was that Henry Fielding had satirized it in “Shamela,” his own first venture into novel writing. I hadn’t known that “Shamela” was only one of many works published in immediate response to “Pamela,” and that “Pamela,” indeed, had been possibly the biggest news of any kind in London in 1741. But as soon as I started reading it I could see why: the novel is compelling and electric with sex and class conflicts, and it details psychological extremes at a level of specificity like nothing before it [my emphasis]. Pamela Andrews isn’t everything and more. She’s simply and uniquely Pamela, a beautiful servant girl whose virtue is under sustained and ingenious assault by the son of her late employer. Her story is told through her letters to her parents, and when she finds out that these letters are being intercepted and read by her would-be seducer, Mr. B., she continues to write them while knowing that Mr. B. will read them. Pamela’s piousness and self-dramatizing hysterics were bound to infuriate a certain kind of reader (one of the books published in response satirized Richardson’s subtitle, “Virtue Rewarded,” as “Feign’d Innocence Detected”), but underneath her strident virtue and Mr. B.’s lascivious machinations is a fascinatingly rendered love story. The realistic power of this story was what made the book such a groundbreaking sensation. Defoe had staked out the territory of radical individualism, which has remained a fruitful subject for novelists as late as Beckett and Wallace, but it was Richardson who first granted full fictional access to the hearts and minds of individuals whose solitude has been overwhelmed by love for someone else.

It all sounds so learned, so well-informed. He even knows the date of Pamela's publication! The fact that it was parodied by Fielding! Talk about an egghead! But the clincher comes when he explains why this was such a crucial first step for the novel:
The realistic power of this story was what made the book such a groundbreaking sensation.

No more or less "real" than Marivaux's Vie de Marianne (which he began publishing in 1731); far less psychologically insightful than Prévost's Manon Lescaut (1731), themselves much influenced by earlier English novels in the genre, such as Aphra Behn's Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1684-87): "groundbreaking," then, in what sense?
Defoe had staked out the territory of radical individualism, which has remained a fruitful subject for novelists as late as Beckett and Wallace, but it was Richardson who first granted full fictional access to the hearts and minds of individuals whose solitude has been overwhelmed by love for someone else.

The "desert-island" narrative goes back at least as far as Homer's Odyssey (not to mention the colossally successful novelisation of his story by François Fénelon, Les Aventures de Télémaque (1693-94)), though it's true that Defoe's particular version of it certainly did exercise a huge influence on subsequent European writers. It's that comment about how Richardson "first granted full fictional access to the hearts and minds of individuals whose solitude has been overwhelmed by love for someone else" which really grates on me, though. Has anyone ever shown greater insight into the "hearts and minds of individuals whose solitude has been overwhelmed by love for someone else" than Lady Murasaki, for instance? Actually, more to the point, few writers have ever shown less knowledge of the subject than Richardson, I would have thought. Have a quick squizz through his own self-proclaimed chef d'oeuvre Sir Charles Grandison (1753) and tell me that I'm wrong.

There's no shame in not having read all of these great novels which predated Defoe and Richardson - not much, even, in not even having heard of most of them: our educational system is monstrously, monotonously monolingual. If it wasn't written in English, then don't bother me with it, is the attitude of many professed experts on the subject even now.

Just as with Franzen's fatuous comments about Edith Wharton (nudge-nudge remarks about her sex-life or lack of same; man-of-the-world judgements on her "attractiveness"), it isn't so much the content of these (kind of foolish and offensive) opinions as the knowing, superior tone he affects which is really irritating. His adventures on the island of Masafuera are otherwise quite entertaining to read - and the stuff on Defoe and Richardson is (presumably) a fairly faithful summary of his lecture notes from Freshman English. But just please stop pretending to be well-informed on the subject.

To put it in terms that might make more sense to a birdwatcher as keen as Franzen, it's more or less the equivalent of claiming that birds were unknown in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

Margaret Anne Doody: A Natural Passion (1974)

For all his unfortunate biases, though, Franzen at least has the virtue of actually being a novelist and knowing something about how they work (rather a fine one, too, I think, since I've somehow managed to read all four of his huge novels to date, not to mention his autobiography and one of his essay collections). There are deeper, darker sinners than he. You recall the responses to Margaret Anne Doody's own theories on the subject which I quoted from in my first piece on this topic?
When I gave a talk on the early novels and their influence on eighteenth-century literature ... in April 1993, I was asked during the question period "why I wanted to bash everything down to one level?" I had not hitherto thought of my thesis in that way, but I could see that, to anyone used to the Rise of the Novel as a story of hierarchy and spatial erection, my narrative could seem like a loss of attributed eminence.

Doody also quotes distinguished critic J. Paul Hunter to the effect that "getting rid of the categories 'Novel' and 'Romance' would be 'dangerous.' He expresses a fear of a 'new literary history built thoughtlessly on the rubble of the old'." She goes on to summarise his views as follows:
A change in the categories would be a kind of bomb, reducing structures to leveled rubble and encouraging the mushrooming of jerry-built hutments. ...

Who cares about the truth, after all? Ptolemaic astronomy was good enough for the Ancients; it's good enough for most practical purposes; what do we need with this new-fangled Copernican stuff about the earth going around the sun? It just unsettles people and forces us to revise all the textbooks ...

You may think I'm exaggerating, but anyone who's spent any time reading - or even just leafing through - Steven Moore's immense work on the novel from its origins until 1800 knows that the contention that Richardson and Defoe "began" the novel, or even the English novel, or even the English psychological realist novel is talking through his hat.

When the evidence is this overwhelming, it's time to dust off the lecture notes and acknowledge the paradigm-change. It does no favours to (especially) Defoe to see his writing in this way. He was a great novelist in his own right, not simply as a "precursor" or "progenitor" of later Man Alone-like, Robinsonade writers.

As for Richardson, I fear he's been forced down so many impressionable young readers' throats as a result of his undeserved reputation as the "father of the novel" that the unreadable wastes of Clarissa or Grandison have come to characterise all pre-nineteenth century fiction for them. Poor sods. They could have been reading Apuleius or the Genji instead - and would have enjoyed themselves a good deal more.

As Franzen puts it, so eloquently, above: "there persisted, in the very word 'novel,' with its promise of novelty, a memory of more youthful experiences so engrossing that I could sit quietly for hours and never think of boredom." Novels are not boring. That's their very essence: they're compounded of the latest novelties (hence the name) - whatever's currently most exciting, most engrossing, most titillating, most depraved ...

I know that a lot of novels are boring: dull, poorly constructed, hard to follow, vaguely plotted, simplistically motivated - but that's because they've failed in their prime directive of interesting readers. The pompous, hypocritical maunderings of Richardson are a perfect example of just such a failure. Critics often quote Dr. Johnson's remark to Boswell: "Why, sir, if you were to read Richardson for the story … you would hang yourself … you must read him for the sentiment." They don't seem to understand that this is not exactly a ringing endorsement of their hero, though.

There's no real need to dethrone Richardson in order to appreciate the 2,000 years of novel writing that preceded him. Clarissa does appear, still, to have its fans - in fact it comes fourth in a recent Guardian listing of the 100 Best Novels [in English? They don't bother to specify], where it's praised for "the subtlety with which [Richardson] unfolds the dark tragedy of Clarissa's fatal attraction to Lovelace." Go figure. Personally I'd see all those hundreds and hundreds of pages of completely implausible letters concocted by his characters as about as psychologically "subtle" as John Bunyan's nuanced portrait of the Pope in the Pilgrim's Progress (no. 1 on the list):
Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of this valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims that had gone this way formerly; and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave, where two giants, POPE and PAGAN, dwelt in old time; by whose power and tyranny the men whose bones, blood, and ashes, &c., lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without much danger, whereat I somewhat wondered; but I have learnt since, that PAGAN has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is, by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints, that he can now do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.

Great stuff! All I can say about Clarissa is that its magic passed me by. I saw a BBC dramatisation once which, by cutting out all the verbiage, did seem to get to the dark, grimy heart of the matter - but when I discovered that the villainous Lovelace was (if anything) a more tedious and logorrhoeic correspondent than his victim - I still find it difficult to understand how that's even possible - I concluded it was not for me.

I love novels. I like reading them, and I like trying to write them. I've published three of them, and have recently completed the first draft of a fourth. I simply do not accept Richardson as the great-grandaddy of the genre, and it's for that reason that I'll always be grateful to Jonathan Lamb for simply leaving him out of his account of the growth of the form, and starting with the fascinating metafictional complexities of Cervantes instead.

Cervantes (of course) did not consider himself to be originating a genre, either. So far as he was concerned, he was building a new edifice on the very well-established foundations laid by Heliodorus and the other classical novelists, not to mention their medieval and renaissance successors: Giovanni Boccaccio principal among them. For him, it was an old form which needed to be revivified. How can it be thought to have "begun" in 1741?

Abraham Bloemaert: Theagenes and Chariclea (1626)

There's an interesting clue to be found in John J. Winkler's fascinating 1985 book on Apuleius, Auctor & Actor, which I mentioned above in my post on the classical novel. In it he quotes from an essay by a certain B. A. Babcock on the various genres underlying the picaresque novel (or "romance", as he prefers to call it):
Underlying the episodic and antidevelopmental narrative of the picaresque is yet another important pattern of organization: the structure of the narrative genre (or genres) being parodied. While numerous critics have discussed the picaresque as "antiromance," as a "countergenre" that develops diacritically as an inversion of the pattern of chivalric romance, few have realized that it embodies the structures of the romance at the same time as it inverts them. The code which is being broken is always implicitly there [my emphasis], for every act of deconstructing reconstructs and reaffirms the structure of romance. This formal, generic, nondisjunction is central to the picaresque's problematic ambiguity: the pattern of expectation created by the inverted form (i.e. the picaresque) competes with the still somewhat operant, formal constraint of the genre or genres that have been inverted. in other words, the reader receives at least two sets of competing formal metacode signals: "this is a romance"; "this is a picaresque antiromance." As a consequence, even a reader familiar with the tradition is somewhat confused and frustrated, and the narrative "message" has an initial appearance of chaos.

- B. A. Babcock, "'Liberty's a Whore': Inversions, Marginalia, and Picaresque Narrative," in The Reversible World: Symbolic Inversion in Art and Society, ed. B. A. Babcock (Ithaca, NY, 1978): 99.
[Quoted in John J. Winkler, Auctor & Actor: A Narratological Reading of Apuleius's Golden Ass. 1985 (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991): 271-72].

William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Cupid & Psyche (1889)

"The code which is being broken is always implicitly there" - that's the vital point to be gleaned from this passage, I think. Like Cervantes', Apuleius' novel functions as a parody of various pre-existing narrative genres: the confessional autobiography (like St. Augustine's); the episodic tale of implausible adventure (like Lucian's "True History," and his other narrative sketches - including "The Ass", which Apuleius's story may well have been based on); the supernatural tale (found in profusion in Petronius's earlier Satyricon), the allegorical fairy tale ("Cupid and Psyche"). But by parodying them, he also embodies them. Their conventions underlie his. Without recognition of these patterns, little sense can be made of the intention of his work. The same rule applies to Cervantes' "anti-romance." He didn't dislike romances (in fact he wrote two of them) - he simply saw an opportunity to mock their excesses and thus undermine their hegemony.

This rule also accounts for the success of Fielding's inversions of Richardson: Shamela, its sequel Joseph Andrews, and his masterpiece Tom Jones. The facile nature of his initial mockery of Pamela quickly grew into a realisation that it could provide him with a prototype for his "comic epic in prose." An inversion, by definition, contains both itself and the thing inverted, or else it would make no sense to the reader. We don't laugh at jokes unless we can easily spot their targets.

All novelists, in other words, work in the shadow of their immediate predecessors (as well as under the influence of more distant ancestors). Whether they seek to build on and perfect what has gone before (as Lady Murasaki did with the pre-existing monogatari tradition, or as Snorri and his contemporaries did with the oral family traditions of Iceland), or try to subvert and transform them (as Cervantes did with the chivalric romance, and Fielding with the novel of sentiment), they require a prior knowledge of these traditions in their readers before their innovations can make sense.

The fallacy lying behind Ian Watt's model of the Rise of the Novel (or the very literal and reductionist way in which it's been interpreted and propagated, at any rate), is that it tries to construct a kind of novelistic "Big Bang" in the early eighteenth century which has given rise to the fictional universes we now see around us. Such an event may well have taken place at some point in the past, but I fear that it must have predated literacy, since it has left few traces beyond the existence of an already thriving and sophisticated novel tradition in Ancient Greece and Rome - not to mention interesting hints of something similar in Egyptian narrative literature.

Given the tenuous nature of diffusionist models of literary transmission over evolutionary explanations of genre transformations, I'd prefer myself to postulate a "Steady State" theory of continual growth and renewal in that most natural - and certainly not least widespread - of human literary forms, the long prose narrative, or "novel."

To conclude, then, here are some of the more interesting stops in the development of the post-Cervantine novel:

Translation of Heliodorus (1560)

The Spanish Novel

  1. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)
  2. Anthologies & Secondary Literature


    Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)

  1. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Obras Completas: Don Quijote de la Mancha / La Galatea / Los trabjaos de Persiles y Sigismunda / Las doce novelas ejemplares /Las once obras teatrales / Los once entremeses / Viaje del Parnaso / Poesías sueltas. Biografía de Lorenzo Hernáiz. Madrid: M. Aguilar, Editor, n.d. [c.1929].

  2. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. 1605 & 1615. Ed. Martín de Ricquer. 1962. Clásicos Universales Planeta. Barcelona: Editorial Planeta, S. A., 1994.

  3. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha: Edicion conforme a la ultima corregida por la Academia Española, con la vida del autor y notas para la buena inteligencia del texto. 1605 & 1615. Paris: Librería de Garnier Hermanos, 1889.

  4. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quijote de la Mancha. 1605 & 1615. Ed. Martín de Ricquer. 1944. 2 vols. Colección “Libros de Bolsillo Z”, 4-5. Barcelona: Editorial Juventud, S. A., 1979.

  5. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Don Quixote. 1605 & 1615. Trans. P. Motteux. 1700-12. Introduction by J. G. Lockhart. 2 vols. Everyman’s Library, 385-86. 1906 & 1909. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1943.

  6. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. The Adventures of Don Quixote. 1605 & 1615. Trans. J. M. Cohen. 1950. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964.

  7. Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote. 1605 & 1615. Trans. Edith Grossman. Introduction by Harold Bloom. 2003. Vintage Classics. London: Random House, 2005.

  8. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Journey to Parnassus: Translated into English Tercets with Preface and Illustrative Notes, to which are Subjoined the Antique Text and Translation of the Letter of Cervantes to Mateo Vazquez. 1614. Trans. James Y. Gibson. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co., 1883.

  9. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Teatro Completo. Ed. Agustín Blánquez. 2 vols. Obras Maestras. Barcelona: Editorial Iberia, S. A., 1966.

  10. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de. Exemplary Stories. Trans. C. A. Jones. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.

  11. Anthologies & Secondary Literature

  12. Alpert, Michael, trans. Two Spanish Picaresque Novels: Lazarillo de Tormes (Anon.) / The Swindler (El Buscón), Francisco de Quevedo. 1554 & 1626. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969.

Miguel de Cervantes: La Galatea (1585)

Longus: Les Amours pastorales de Daphnis et Chloé (1718)

The French Novel

  1. Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792)
  2. Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803)
  3. Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
  4. François Fénelon (1651-1715)
  5. Madame de La Fayette (1634-1693)
  6. Alain-René Lesage (1668-1747)
  7. Pierre de Marivaux (1688-1763)
  8. Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791)
  9. L'Abbé Prévost (1697-1763)
  10. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814)
  11. Anthologies & Secondary Literature


    Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792)

  1. Cazotte, Jacques. Le Diable Amoureux. 1772. Ed. Max Milner. GF. Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1979.

  2. Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803)

  3. Choderlos de Laclos. Oeuvres complètes. Ed. Maurice Allem. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 6. 1951. Paris: Gallimard, 1959.

  4. Choderlos de Laclos. Les liaisons dangereuses. 1782. Ed. Jean Mistler. Paris: Livre de Poche, 1972.

  5. Laclos, Choderlos de. Les Liaisons Dangereuses. 1782. Trans. P. W. K. Stone. 1961. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977.

  6. Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

  7. Diderot, Denis. Oeuvres. Ed. André Billy. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 25. Paris: Gallimard, 1969.

  8. Diderot, Denis. Pensées Philosophiques: Édition critique. 1746. Ed. Robert Niklaus. Textes Littéraires Français. Génève: Librairie Droz / Paris: Librairie Minard, 1957.

  9. Diderot, Denis. Pensées philosophiques / Lettre sur les aveugles / Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville. 1746, 1749, 1772. Ed. Antoine Adam. GF. Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1972.

  10. Diderot, Denis. Entretien entre D’Alembert et Diderot / Le Rêve de D’Alembert / Suite de l’entretien. 1769. Ed. Jacques Roger. 1965. GF. Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1973.

  11. Diderot, Denis. Le Neveu de Rameau et autres dialogues philosophiques. Ed. Jean Varloot. Notes by Nicole Évrard. Collection Folio, 171. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1972.

  12. Diderot, Denis. Jacques the Fatalist and His Master. 1796. Trans. Michael Henry. Introduction & Notes by Martin Hall. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986.

  13. Diderot, Denis. The Nun (La Religieuse). 1796. Trans. Marianne Sinclair. Introduction & Afterword by Richard Griffiths. New English Library Classics. London: The New English Library Ltd., 1966.

  14. François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon [François Fénelon] (1651-1715)

  15. Fénelon. Les Aventures de Télémaque. 1699. Les Meilleurs Auteurs Classiques: Français et Étrangers. Paris: Ernest Flammarion, Éditeur, 1925.

  16. Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne, comtesse de La Fayette [Madame de La Fayette] (1634-1693)

  17. Lafayette, Madame de. La Princesse de Clèves. 1678. Ed. Émile Magne. Textes Littéraires Français. Génève: Librairie Droz / Lille: Librairie Giard, 1950.

  18. Lafayette, Madame de. Romans et nouvelles: Textes revus sur les editions originales. Édition illustrée. Ed. Émile Magne. Classiques Garnier. Paris: Éditions Garnier Frères, 1958.

  19. Alain-René Lesage / Le Sage (1668-1747)

  20. Le Sage, Alain-René. Le Diable Boiteux. 1707. Oeuvres de Le Sage. Avec une notice par Anatole France. 2 vols. Paris: Alphonse Lemerre, Éditeur, 1878.

  21. Le Sage, René. The Devil on Two Sticks. Trans. William Strange. 1841. Introduction by Arthur Symons. Illustrated by Philip Hagreen. London: The Navarre Society Limited, 1940.

  22. Le Sage, Alain-René. Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane. 1715, 1724 & 1735. Ed. Roger Laufer. GF. Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1977.

  23. Le Sage, A. R. The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane. 1715, 1724 & 1735. Trans. B. H. Malkin. Collins’ Lotus Library. London & Glasgow: Collins Clear-Type Press, n.d.

  24. Le Sage, René. Théâtre: Turcaret; Crispin Rival de son maître; La Tontine. Ed. Maurice Bardon. Classiques Garnier. Paris: Éditions Garner Frères, 1948.

  25. Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux (1688-1763)

  26. Marivaux, Pierre. La Vie de Marianne, ou Les Aventures de Madame la Comtesse de ***. 1731-1742. Ed. Frédéric Deloffre. Classiques Garnier. Paris: Éditions Garner Frères, 1963.

  27. Marivaux, Pierre. Le Paysan Parvenu. 1734-35 & 1756. Ed. Michel Gilot. Paris: Garnier-Flammarion, 1965.

  28. Marivaux, Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de. Théâtre. Paris: Bibliothèque Hachette, n.d.

  29. Marivaux, Pierre. Up from the Country / Infidelities / The Game of Love and Chance. Trans. Leonard Tancock & David Cohen. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1980.

  30. Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791)

  31. Mirabeau, Le Comte de. The Lifted Curtain & My Conversion. Trans. Howard Nelson. Introduction by J-P Spencer. A Star Book. W. H. Allen & Co. PLC, 1986.

  32. Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles [Abbé Prévost] (1697-1763)

  33. Prévost, Abbé. Manon Lescaut: Édition illustrée. 1731. Ed. Frédéric Deloffre & Raymond Picard. Classiques Garnier. Paris: Éditions Garnier Frères, 1965.

  34. Prévost, Abbé. Manon Lescaut. 1731. Préface de Pierre Mac Orlan. 1959. Le Livre de Poche, 460. Paris: Gallimard / Librarie Générale Française, 1968.

  35. Prévost, Abbé. Manon Lescaut. 1731. Trans. L. W. Tancock. 1949. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1951.

  36. Prévost, Abbé. The History of the Chevalier des Grieux and of Manon Lescaut. 1731. Trans. Helen Waddell. Essay by Edward Sackville-West. Wood Engravings by Valentin Le Campion. London: the Folio Society, 1950.

  37. Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814)

  38. Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de. Paul et Virginie: Édition illustrée. 1787. Ed. Pierre Trahard. Classiques Garnier. Paris: Éditions Garnier Frères, 1958.

  39. Anthologies & Secondary Literature

  40. Romanciers du XVIIème siècle: Sorel – Scarron – Furetière – Madame de la Fayette. Ed. Antoine Adam. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 131. 1958. Paris: Gallimard, 1962.

Abbé Prévost: Manon Lescaut (1731 / 1753)

Henry Fielding: Shamela (1741)

The English Novel

  1. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
  2. Aphra Behn (1640-1689)
  3. John Bunyan (1628-1688)
  4. Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673)
  5. John Cleland (1709-1789)
  6. Daniel Defoe (c.1660-1731)
  7. Henry Fielding (1707–1754)
  8. Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)
  9. Henry Mackenzie (1745–1831)
  10. Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)
  11. Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1601)
  12. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)
  13. Tobias George Smollett (1721–1771)
  14. Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)
  15. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
  16. Anthologies & Secondary Literature


    Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (1561-1626)

  1. Bacon, Francis, Lord Verulam. The New Atlantis. 1627. Ed. G. C. Moore Smith. Cambridge: University Press, 1900.

  2. Aphra Behn (1640-1689)

  3. Behn, Aphra. The Novels of Mrs. Aphra Behn [The Royal Slave and Other Novels]. Introduction by Ernest A. Baker. London: George Routledge & Sons, Limited / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., n.d.

  4. Behn, Aphra. Selected Writings of the Ingenious Mrs. Aphra Behn: Comprising the four novels: The Adventure of the Black Lady, The Court of the King of Bantam, The Unfortunate Happy Lady, & The Fair Jilt; a comedy in five acts: The Dutch Lover; and selected verse and translations. Introduction by Robert Phelps. An Evergreen Book. New York: Grove Press, 1950.

  5. Behn, Aphra. The Ten Pleasures of Marriage; and The Second Part: The Confession of the New Married Couple. 1682-1683. Ed. John Harvey. London: The Navarre Society Limited, 1950

  6. Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave. A True History. 1688. Introduction by Lore Metzger. The Norton Library. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1973.

  7. Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko: An Authoritative Text; Historical Backgrounds; Criticism. 1688. Ed. Joanna Lipking. A Norton Critical Edition. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.

  8. Behn, Aphra. Love Letters between a Nobleman and His Sister. 1684-87. Introduction by Maureen Duffy. Virago Modern Classic, 240. London: Virago Press Limited, 1987.

  9. Cameron, W. J. New Light on Aphra Behn: An investigation into the facts and fictions surrounding her journey co Surinam in 1663 and her activities as a spy in Flanders in 1666. University of Auckland Monograph, 5. Auckland: Wakefield Press Ltd., 1961.

  10. Duffy, Maureen. The Passionate Shepherdess: Aphra Behn, 1640-89. London: Jonathan Cape, 1977.

  11. Hahn, Emily. Aphra Behn. London: Jonathan Cape, 1951.

  12. John Bunyan (1628-1688)

  13. Bunyan, John. The Complete Works. Introduction by John P. Gulliver. Illustrated Edition. Philadelphia; Brantford, Ont.: Bradley, Garretson & Co. / Chicago, Ills.; Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; San Francisco, Cal.: Wm. Garretson & Co., 1881.

  14. Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is To Come: Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream. London: The Religious Tract Society, n.d. [1877].

  15. Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Ed. Roger Sharrock. 1965. The Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.

  16. Bunyan, John. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and The Pilgrim’s Progress from this World to that which is to come. 1666, 1678, & 1684. Ed. Roger Sharrock. 1962 & 1960. Oxford Standard Authors. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

  17. Bunyan, John. Grace Abounding & The Life and Death of Mr Badman. 1666 & 1680. Introduction by G. B. Harrison. An Everyman Paperback. Everyman’s Library, 1815. 1928. London: J. M. Dent & Sons / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1969.

  18. Bunyan, John. The Life and Death of Mr. Badman. 1680. Introduction by Bonamy Dobrée. The Worlds’ Classics, 338. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1929.

  19. Bunyan, John. The Holy War Made by King Shaddai upon Diabolus To regain the Metropolis of the World or, The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul. 1682. Ed. Wilbur M. Smith. The Wycliffe Series of Christian Classics. Chicago: Moody Press, 1948.

  20. Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne [nee Lucas] (1623–1673)

  21. Cavendish, Margaret. The Blazing World and Other Writings. 1666. Ed. Kate Lilly. 1992. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994.

  22. John Cleland (1709-1789)

  23. Cleland, John. Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. 1749. Ed. Peter Sabor. The World’s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.

  24. Daniel Defoe (c.1660-1731)

  25. Defoe, Daniel. The Shakespeare Head Edition of the Novels and Selected Writings of Daniel Defoe. 1927-28. Oxford: Basil Blackwell / Stratford-upon-Avon: The Shakespeare Head Press / London: William Clowes & Sons Limited, 1974.
    • The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. 1719. Vol. I.
    • The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. 1719. Vol. II.
    • The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Vol. III.
    • The Fortunate Mistress. 1724. Vol. I.
    • The Fortunate Mistress. 1724. Vol. II.
    • A Journal of the Plague Year. 1722.

  26. Defoe, Daniel. The True-Born Englishman and Other Writings. 1700. Ed. P. N. Furbank & W. R. Owens. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997.

  27. Defoe, Daniel. The Storm. 1704. Ed. Richard Hamblyn. London: Allen Lane, 2003.

  28. Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Ed. Angus Ross. 1965. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.

  29. Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe / The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Introduction by Frederick Brereton. Collins Classics. London & Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., 1961.

  30. Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe: The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner; The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. 1719. Introduction by Guy N. Pocock. 1945. Everyman’s Library, 1059. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1966.

  31. Defoe, Daniel. The Life, Adventures and Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton. 1720. Introduction by James Sutherland. 1963. Everyman’s Library, 1074. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1969.

  32. Defoe, Daniel. Captain Singleton. 1720. Ed. Shiv K. Kumar. Oxford English Novels. Ed. James Kinsley. 1969. London: Oxford University Press, 1973.

  33. Defoe, Daniel. Memoirs of a Cavalier. 1720. Introduction by G. A. Aitken. 1908. Everyman’s Library, 283. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1933.

  34. Defoe, Daniel. A Journal of the Plague Year: Being Observations or Memorials of the Most Remarkable Occurrences, as well Public as Private, which Happened in London during the Last Great Visitation in 1665. Written by a Citizen who Continued all the while in London. Never made Public Before. 1722. Ed. Anthony Burgess & Christopher Bristow. Introduction by Anthony Burgess. 1966. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.

  35. Defoe, Daniel. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c. Who Was Born in Newgate, and During a Life of Continued Variety for Threescore Years, Besides Her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife (Whereof Once to Her Own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at Last Grew Rich, Lived Honest & Died a Penitent, Written From Her Own Memorandums. 1722. Foreword by Oliver St. John Gogarty. Black & White Illustrations by Arthur Wragg. 1948. London: Rockliff Publishing Corporation Limited, 1950.

  36. Defoe, Daniel. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. 1722. Ed. Juliet Mitchell. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.

  37. Defoe, Daniel. Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress. 1724. Ed. Jane Jack. 1964. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

  38. Defoe, Daniel [as ‘Captain Charles Johnson’]. A General History of the Pyrates. 1724. Ed. Manuel Schonhorn. 1972. Dover Maritime Books. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1999.

  39. Defoe, Daniel. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. 1724-26. Ed. Pat Rogers. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.

  40. Hazlitt, William, ed. The Works of Daniel De Foe, with a Memoir of His Life and Writings. 2 vols. London: John Clements, 1840-41.

  41. Henry Fielding (1707–1754)

  42. Fielding, Henry. The History of the Adventures of Mr. Joseph Andrews and of His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams & An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews. 1741 & 1742. Ed. Douglas Brooks. 1970. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

  43. Fielding, Henry. A Journey from This World to the Next. 1743. Introduction by Claude Rawson. Everyman’s Library, 1112. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1973.

  44. Fielding, Henry. Jonathan Wild & The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon. 1743 & 1755. Ed. Douglas Brooks. Introduction by A. R. Humphreys. 1932. Everyman’s Library, 1877. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1973.

  45. Fielding, Henry. The History of Tom Jones. 1749. Ed. R. P. C. Mutter. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

  46. Fielding, Henry. The History of Amelia. 1752. Illustrated by George Cruickshank. 2 vols. Classic Novels. London: Hutchinson & Co., n.d.

  47. Fielding, Henry. The Works: Complete in One Volume, with Memoir of the Author, by Thomas Roscoe. London: Henry Washbourne et al., 1840.

  48. Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)

  49. Fielding, Sarah. The Adventures of David Simple, and The Adventures of David Simple, Volume the Last. 1744 & 1753. Ed. Linda Bree. Penguin Classics. London: Penguin, 2002.

  50. Fielding, Sarah. The Governess, or, Little Female Academy. 1749. Ed. Jill E. Grey. The Juvenile Library. Ed. Brian W. Alderson. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.

  51. Henry Mackenzie (1745–1831)

  52. Mackenzie, Henry. The Man of Feeling. 1771. Ed. Brian Vickers. 1967. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1970.

  53. Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

  54. More, Thomas. Utopia. 1516. Trans. Paul Turner. 1965. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.

  55. Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1601)

  56. Nashe, Thomas. The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works. Ed. J. B. Steane. The Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.

  57. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761)

  58. Richardson, Samuel. Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded. 1740-41. Introduction by M. Kinkead-Weekes. 1962. 2 vols. Everyman’s Library, 683-4. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1969.

  59. Richardson, Samuel. Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady. 1747-48. Ed. Angus Ross. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985.

  60. Richardson, Samuel. The History of Clarissa Harlowe. 1747-48. Introduction by John Butt. 4 vols. Everyman’s Library, 882-5. 1932. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1962.

  61. Richardson, Samuel. The History of Sir Charles Grandison. 1753-54. Ed. Jocelyn Harris. 3 vols. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

  62. Tobias George Smollett (1721–1771)

  63. Smollett, Tobias. Roderick Random. 1748. Introduction by H. W. Hodges. Everyman’s Library, 790. 1927. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1964.

  64. Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, in which are included Memoirs of a Lady of Quality. 1751. Ed. James L. Clifford. 1964. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.

  65. Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom. 1753. Ed. Damian Grant. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1971.

  66. Smollett, Tobias. Travels through France and Italy. 1766. Introduction by Thomas Secombe. The World’s Classics, 90. 1907. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1919.

  67. Smollett, Tobias. The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves & The History and Adventures of an Atom. 1762 & 1769. London: The Waverley Book Company, Ltd., n.d.

  68. Smollett, Tobias. The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker. 1771. Ed. Angus Ross. 1967. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1975.

  69. Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

  70. Sterne, Laurence. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. 1759-67. Ed. Graham Petrie. Introduction by Christopher Ricks. Penguin English Library. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967.

  71. Sterne, Laurence. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick, to which are added The Journal to Eliza & A Political Romance. 1768. Ed. Ian Jack. 1968. Oxford English Novels. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

  72. Sterne, Laurence. The Works: Comprising The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent., A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, Sermons, Letters, &c., with A Life of the Author, Written by Himself. London: Henry G. Bohn., 1853.

  73. Sterne, Laurence. Memoirs of Mr. Laurence Sterne; The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy; A Sentimental Journey; Selected Sermons and Letters. Ed. Douglas Grant. The Reynard Library. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1950.

  74. Traugott, John, ed. Laurence Sterne: A Collection of Critical Essays. Twentieth Century Views. Englewood Clifs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.

  75. Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  76. Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels and Selected Writings in Prose & Verse. Ed. John Hayward. The Compendious Series. London: The Nonesuch Press / New York: Random House, 1934.

  77. Swift, Jonathan. The Annotated Gulliver's Travels: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. 1726 / 1734 / 1896. Ed. Isaac Asimov. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. / Publishers, 1980.

  78. Swift, Jonathan. Journal to Stella. Ed. Harold Williams. 1948. 2 vols. Oxford English Texts. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963.

  79. Swift, Jonathan. The Poems. Ed. Harold Williams. 1937. Second ed. 1958. 3 vols. Oxford English Texts. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966.

  80. Swift, Jonathan. Poetical Works. Ed. Herbert Davis. Oxford Standard Authors. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

  81. Swift, Jonathan. Satires and Personal Writings. Ed. William Alfred Eddy. 1932. Oxford Standard Authors. London: Oxford University Press, 1967.

  82. Nokes, David. Jonathan Swift: A Hypocrite Reversed. A Critical Biography. 1985. Oxford Lives. London: Oxford University Press, 1987.

  83. Anthologies & Secondary Literature

  84. Birkett, Sir Norman, ed. The Newgate Calendar: With Contemporary Engravings. 1951. London: The Folio Society, 1993.

  85. Birkett, Lord, ed. The New Newgate Calendar. 1960. London: The Folio Society, 1993.

  86. Henderson, Philip, ed. Shorter Novels. Volume 1: Elizabethan and Jacobean. Thomas Deloney: Jack of Newberie and Thomas of Reading; Robert Greene: The Carde of Fancie; Thomas Nashe: The Unfortunate Traveller. 1597, 1600, 1587, & 1594. Introduction by George Saintsbury. 1929. Everyman’s Library, 824. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1943.

  87. Henderson, Philip, ed. Shorter Novels. Volume 2: Jacobean and Restoration. Emmanuel Ford: Ornatus & Artesia; Aphra Behn: Oroonoko; Henry Neville: The Isle of Pines; William Congreve: Incognita. 1634, 1688, 1668, & 1713. Everyman’s Library, 841. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd. / New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1930.

  88. Kerby-Miller, Charles, ed. The Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus. Written in Collaboration by the Members of the Scriblerus Club: John Arbuthnot, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, John Gay, Thomas Parnell & Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford. 1950. New York: Russell & Russell, 1966.

  89. McBurney, W. H., ed. Four Before Richardson: Selected English Novels, 1720-1727. Luck at Last, or the Happy Unfortunate, by Arthur Blackamore; The Jamaica Lady, or the Life of Bavia, by W. P; Philidore and Placentia, or L’Amour trop Delicat, by Eliza Haywood; The Accomplished Rake, or Modern Fine Gentleman, by Mary Davys. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1963.

  90. Painter, William. The Palace of Pleasure: Elizabethan Versions of Italian and French Novels from Boccaccio, Bandello, Cinthio, Straparola, Queen Margaret of Navarre, and Others. 1566-67, 1575. Ed. Joseph Jacobs. 1890. 3 vols. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1966.

  91. Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding. 1957. Peregrine Books. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966.

Samuel Richardson: Pamela (1741)

  1. Folktale roots: characterised by excessive patterning and repetition of motifs (as seen in the Eastern Framestory Tradition)

  2. Confessional: the various forms of auto/biography (of which there are many different potential models in classical literature: Xenophon's Cyropaedia, Plutarch's Parallel Lives, Caesar & Augustus's third-person autobiographies, The Confessions of St. Augustine, to name just a few ...)

  3. Poetry anthology: with commentaries on the individual poems becoming chapters (seen in the Japanese Tales of Ise - as well as Egil's Saga in Iceland)

  4. Medieval romance: characterised by C. S. Lewis (in The Allegory of Love) as "Ovid misunderstood:" earnest, Christian mis-applications of Ovid's witty urban satirical epics, epistles and tales

  5. Historiography: as it evolves into historical fiction (the shift from Ari's Lándnámabók and Íslendingabók to the first, anonymous Sagas of Icelanders

  6. Wu Ch'eng-en: Journey to the West

  7. Religious narratives: stories of saints and demons as a backdrop for the satirical fantasy (and realism) of the Chinese novel

  8. Henry Fielding: Tom Jones (1749)

  9. Fielding's (secular) "comic epic in prose": a kind of culmination of the Cervantine tradition of deliberately parody of absurd literary excess as a vehicle for (so-called) "realism"


Richard said...

Good stuff, beautiful illustrations and informative. Like a novel...and the novel is and should be inherently philosophical and a kind of conversation (as Edward Mendelson says in 'The Things that Matter' - all the novels are by women, including 'Frankenstein' to which I am now a convert - that is a very moving book, possibly a great book - nothing like the movie versions of it...He also includes great novels by the Brontes, George Eliot, and Woolf. Franzen would be doing well to come anywhere near those great writers...all of whom I admire and have read.)

Lamb lectured to us on 18th Cent lit in 1992. He was very good, with much information and detail (talking of Edmund Burke and The Sublime etc).

I saw a copy of that book by Moody by chance a few days ago in a s/h bookshop but the text was too small.

Anyone of my age group (for eyesight problems) - say over 55 or so should be wary of many editions of these classics. I prefer paper backs for room but HB books usually have slightly larger font. If one "reads much at night" this is especially a problem.

I will look out for a larger version of it.

This is like a University Course in literature Jack! Very informative. Franzen, it seems, knows how to write but has some tired views of Wharton etc. He seems conflicted over his own "manliness" or something. But writers are fallible or they wouldn't be able to write.

I agree re the "steady state" or diffusion theory. The novel has to be understood to be a developing thing like all other human endeavours. It is interesting you include what are considered philosophy. I read The Confessions: I found them fascinating to read for the endless ideas of St. Augustine who in page after page comes up with subtle refutations of the possibility of God's existence, but then simply reverts to it being a question of faith!

Utopia is also both a novel and a work of philosophy which is discussed inter alia in 'The Rise of Modern Philosophy' by Anthony Kenny.

Instead of reading Sartre or Camus's philosophy books I read Nausea and The Stranger - two favourites of mine.

I read Robinson Crusoe last year: I enjoyed that immensely.
Then I read Foe by Coetzee (in fact I want to re-read that.

I haven't read any of the Chinese or Japanese classics but I have a pictorial version of The Three Kingdoms thing which I part read (it's a kind of comic version).

As well as these "doubles" mentioned there's Kathy Acker's 'The Female Quixote' but I feel I should finish the original. I must get it on the boil again...I've read Oronoko, The Man of Feeling and Tristram Shandy.

Reading that was a long business. I found it hard to read but this was offset (as with Gargantua and Pantagruel) by the fact that there are the intriguing black pages or "squiggles" and in G and P there are long lists (much of it rather nonsensical if brilliant).

Ovid's 'Metamorphosis' a long novel? The Golden Ass is very easy to obtain and is I agree one of the greats as is Petronius's Satyricon. Later such as Gulliver's Travels which is a great novel for me...

I also have a copy of Gil Blas. Did you ever read the book by Brenan on Spanish literature (I have a biog. of him here also)? He got me interested in Celestina or The Spanish Bawd by Rojas. Haven't read it yet so I share Franzen's weakness(es) or one of them...

Here is the list of the revised edition of'1001 Books You Should Read...' (ed Peter Boxall) which stars with The 1001 Nghts (of course), then goes to The Tale of the Genji and many of the Chinese and Japnese novels you mention and the to Apuleius! So they are closer than Watts...of course they leave out about 5000 other books but there are so many roads through lit so to speak.

But I pick a bone re Muriel Spark! I enjoyed her 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' a lot. Otherwise it is a good "thesis" here developed and developing. A considerable opus indeed.

Where does EMO fit in?!

Dr Jack Ross said...

Dear Richard,

You're probably right about Muriel Spark. Memento Mori was pretty good, too, as I recall.

As for EMO, I suppose I feel that followers of the Ian Watt (=Ptolemaic) theory of the novel would find it a completely inadmissible exhibit. Those who've accepted the new Doody / Moore paradigm (Copernicus / Kepler) would - I hope - see it as an obvious heir to the likes of Apuleius and Wu Cheng'en.

Dr Jack Ross said...

Michael Morrissey writes to say:

Congratulations to Jack Ross for his erudite summary of the novel's development. I was notionally aware of the long history of the novel which goes back 2000 plus years - but not in the detail offered here.

On a more personal note I also had Dr Jonathan Lamb as a lecturer on the modern novel a few years before Jack (around 1977). He and his colleagues Professor Michael Neill and Mr Sebastian Black presented a series of lectures on writers like Garcia Marquez, Berger, Lowry, Mailer, Sartre, Borges and a few others I cannot recall. Lamb's lectures were so tightly constructed that students would write down virtually every word.

Ok that's the bouquet(s) now for some brickbats. The word misogynist is being applied too loosely and exaggeratedly these days. Jonathan Franzen's remarks about Ms Wharton's lack of prettiness do not qualify. And the photograph (if it is that) seems to contradict his remarks. Journalists will often comment on some aspect of a writer's appearance - height, hair, manner of speech, droopy eyelids (guess who), looks etc. It is not apparently kosher to do so in a critical piece. Franzen however has done it and I did it myself in a recent roasting I gave to Catton's highly successful The Luminaries where I described her as pensive looking and marginally beautiful. Should the masculine equivalent remarks been made about myself I would not take exception. The fascination that men have with women's attractiveness is seemingly hardwired and is hard to avoid whether it is remarked on or not.

After all every act of rape is a highly misogynistic act, though possibly we need an even stronger word. My dictionary defines misogyny as hatred of women and I doubt whether Franzen hates half the human race. When he was on Oprah Winfrey's show talking about his novel Freedom his audience, as shown by the camera, appeared to be 100 per cent women - all attentive and some wearing the intense look of an adoring fan. if indeed Franzen was perceived as a misogynistic author some of them would be jeering or asking hostile questions.

While it is true there is something condescending in Frazen's manner toward his famous host could not help admiring him (a bit) for not being the opposite - obsequious or craven. Being on Winfrey's show is after all guaranteed to boost sales.

Franzen is a gifted writer thought it seems to me he is impressive by accumulation and less impressive when you analyse some of his strategies, style and attitudes. I analysed some these in my recent review reproduced below.

As an old fashioned literary "intellectual" type I also agree with Franzen's attitudes to what are called social media. He referred to people spending three hours day answering emails. Well, Marshall McLuhan impliedly predicted this some 50 years ago ( as well as the diminution of the book’s authority). On balance, his remarks have been "fulfilled" by techno-history. If I may pun a little grossly, I feel that people who go on Facebook risk losing face and those who Twitter wind up being twits. I am a stubborn dummy who refuses to buy a smartphone. I am a Wikipedia devotee who visits this extraordinary and ever growing body of knowledge from the comfort of my home. Do I need to do so while driving in traffic?

Dr Jack Ross said...

& continues as follows:

FREEDOM by Joseph Franzen, Fourth Estate, $39

It's official - almost. Freedom is a great novel. The New York Times has so proclaimed it, throwing in the term “masterpiece” for good measure. As has Esquire. The ever likable and energetic Oprah Winfrey has endorsed it with the kind of enthusiasm that suggests a conversion experience. Locally, the highly discerning readers at The Time Out bookshop also like it. And I too liked it and was, at times, moved by it, though with considerable reservations.

Calling a novel great in these Facebook/Twitter times is a brave gesture for if there is one thing that all these new media networking octopi do is eat away at the notion of greatness, replacing it with gossip, and the detailed ordinariness of millions of lives. I shouldn't be too snobby about this because Freedom has its share of gossipy undertow – after all, novels thrive on wagging tongues. So I guess, it's a question of emotional depth. Novels are deeper than Facebook. There, now I've got that off my chest.

Freedom is a family novel that concentrates on the marriage of Walter and Patty Berglund, plus their children, the dissolute Joey and his sweeter sister, Jessica. We get additional cameos of various siblings and parents. Also portrayed in depth is Richard Katz, Walter's best friend, a womanising would-be Indie rock star whose loose ways make him morally repellent. He doesn't even acquit himself honourably with his fans, sneering at them defensively. He exerts a baleful influence over the Berglunds, though it is Patty who throws herself at him when Walter is absent, wanting him to make love to her while she's still “asleep” or at least able to pretend to herself that she hasn't quite assented to her own voluntary adultery. Patty – showing a literary sophistication that seems at odds with her conscious characterisation – writes a novella-length account of her feelings, experiences and exploits somewhat pompously entitled MISTAKES WERE MADE - Autobiography of Patty Berglund by Patty
Berglund (Composed at Her Therapist's Suggestion).

The somewhat slow and indirect opening of the novel is jazzed up by Patty detailing a rough date rape in chapter two of her autobiographical text. Unpleasant as the rape may be, what is more damning is her infidelity to Walter. Depending how you look at it, the novel moves gradually or slowly, to the point where Richard deliberately leaves the incriminating text for Walter to read. We will consider the ramifications of this in a moment.

Walter is a man of our times – an executive with Nature Conservancy who leaves for what he convinces himself is a higher, nobler stake – the Cerulean Mountain Trust. This organisation offers a Faustian deal - the top of a mountain will be coal-quarried but the pay off is a huge reserve for warblers. He is spurred on into accepting this corrupt offer by Lalitha, his beautiful idealistic assistant with whom he eventually falls in love. Significantly, the two young women possessed of overpowering beauty – Genna (Joey's would be girlfriend) and Lalitha both turn out to have flaws - Genna is a money-hungry tease with whom intimacy – as Joey discovers – is a disabling disappointment; Lalitha is suspiciously perfect, both morally and physically. She seems too easy a solution for Walter, (on the rebound , as it were, from Patty), so he pays the price of losing her in a fatal car accident. Also too easy is his rant at the Cerulean Mountain Trust where he seemingly regains his moral centre. Yet isn't this moral rave a little Hollywoodish? – the compulsory scene where the partially corrupted or at least morally challenged hero realises that he has been fooling himself and reasserts his true temporarily abandoned values.

Dr Jack Ross said...

& concludes his review of Freedom thus:

The combination of Katz's betrayal, Patty's infidelity-revealing document, and Lalitha's death leaves Walter a sullen, wounded man whom his daughter Jessica comes to realise, “would not be getting better, didn't feel like betting better,” which makes her futilely angry.

What is striking about Freedom is how all the characters are morally weak or corrupted - unfaithful Patty (though she is the character explored in greatest depth); licentious, crooked Joey; shallow Genna; ideologically compromised Walter; and treacherous, sneering Katz. We wincingly register their moral failure yet fail to feel sympathetic to them. Franzen examines his characters coolly as though they were helpless fish in an aquarium. The sense of moral depth present in traditionally great novels is absent. Some would associate this with postmodernism but this is hardly a postmodern novel. Franzen's text is peppered with knowledgeable worldly detail in the manner of an Updike but he lacks Updike's or Roth's smooth elegant style. His writing is uneven (though often highly acute), fussy, shallowly up to date, replete with numerous sentences awkwardly ending in prepositions.

Suddenly, in the very last pages, Franzen offers redemption. Though Jessica cannot budge her father from his morose withdrawal from life, the well nigh miraculous appearance of Patty leads to reconciliation. While I regret this plot spoiler, I felt obliged to comment on it. I was moved and felt relieved by this last minute reprieve, yet, as with Walter's rant, was struck by its crude parallel to a hundred Hollywood movies where the emotionally isolated doomed hero or heroine is saved when all seems lost. Naturally, our hearts lift, but after the moral turpitude of the previous nearly six hundred pages, it seems too much of a final curtain salvation to be entirely convincing.

- Michael Morrissey

Michael Morrissey said...

Further to my last comment which included thoughts about the too facile use of the term misogyny, I meant to ask if there was a term for woman's hated of men. I was not aware of one(except for the ugly term, feminazis). My aging Chamber's dictionary was no help but I have since discovered the word (though it never seems to be used)is misandry. I may look around for suitable candidates and no doubt if I find any, and identify them as such, I too will,like Franzen and other fellows, be branded a misogynist. Life has a way of being ironic.

Interestingly, the term misogyny dates back to 1616 (approx) whereas misandry was invented in 1871. There is however no doubt that misogyny, often institutionalised, has featured more prominently in cultures around the world than its lesser cousin misandry.

Richard said...

Michael. Hi there - if I can cut across, I did a review (kind of inter alia, I had your book 'Memory Gene Pool' from the library and it was one of the few NZ Poetry books I had seen (I saw various NZ writers in local libraries, some much anthologised but while some were /are very well known I wasn't impressed - I WAS by your book as you will see but I did branch into the personal (somewhat):

Here is the link to my other Blog (not EYELIGHT but connected to it).

Richard said...

Re your comments Michael, I think you have some good points, Franzen seems rather arrogant in my view and while he is undoubtedly a good writer his categorization of Wharton as ugly or not (I myself don't agree we should discuss a writer's looks or sex or age etc) is stupid:

THAT said I think there is sense in the literary community that we are constrained by various codes and procedures and aren't allowed real freedom of expression: so I feel we need to 'cut Franzen some slack' as they say; you tend to imply, and I think Jack is hinting that, and indeed, the very fact he says (or is supposed to have said and done) various "bad" things etc is surely if anything a recommendation or at least notable if curmudgeonly - it means he is human, and we are all free to critique what he says.

Your review was good: I feel less guilty about not having tackled him!

Perhaps you were a bit grumpy about Eleanor Catton...

But one thing is for sure, anyone such as herself (and she must be very talented) who is now in the public eye as they say, has to expect critics to attack or not. I have never really had many reviews but I know criticism can be upsetting but it is necessary.

One thing perhaps Catton might learn (I bought her book but haven't got to it yet to my shame): I read a biog. of James Joyce, now he was so ambitious (a groveler par excellence?!) that he used to thank all his reviewers whether they praised his works or not - even those who savaged him! (but I believe he took "revenge" on various people he came to dislike by making them characters in his books...)

I was accused of being a misogynist by a woman writer last year (whose identity shall remain unknown) as I extolled D. H. Lawrence, countering her that he was a misogynist, and continuing to praise his books, which I feel, like those of Golding, have a great, raw power and ask the hard questions...etc

After all: humanum est errare...and to forgive divine ...

Pope in his long poem:

'Tis human to err, to forgive divine' (that's from my memory of 'An Essay on Man' - I think it's in there - a poem I once read with great enjoyment).

Regards, RT

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack.
As erudite and fascinating an article as ever.
What, though, about Tirant lo Blanch? Surely Martorell rates a mention?


Dr Jack Ross said...

Dear Farrell,

Good point -- it's one of the few romances which is spared from the infamous book bonfire conducted by Don Quixote's neighbours. I listed it in my fourth post in the series, on the medieval romance (right at the bottom, in the Spanish tradition), but I have to confess to my shame that I've never actually read it ...

best, jack

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack,
Sorry for taking so long to reply.
I am proud to have found something you haven't read!
I have only read bits of it myself and would have been ignorant of it if I hadn't known the translator, David Rosenthal, in Barcelona.
I lobbied unsuccessfully for it to be bought by the A.U. Library in the mid-eighties.


Dr Jack Ross said...

Dear Farrell,

How shocking that AUL should have neglected to buy it! I've had a copy for many years, too, and really should take it down and read it sometime …

Steven Moore has a good deal to say on the subject in the relevant part of his magnum opus. Apparently an even more complete translation has been made since then.

best, jack