Given dominance of the novel on the literary market today, it is easy to forget that it is a comparatively young literary genre. For eighteenth-century readers, however, the “novel” was a new literary form that emerged from a heterogeneous field of older literary traditions, including romance, travel literature, picaresque fiction, and spiritual autobiography.
In this course we will trace the early development and success story of the novel by reading a selection of classical texts (including Behn’s Oronooko, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, etc.) and exploring the historical, cultural, and literary backgrounds of the eighteenth century.
To be announced soon.