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The Novel: An Introduction



The Novel: An Introduction

Christoph Bode

ISBN: 978-1-405-19447-1 February 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 312 Pages

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This is an engaging introduction to the novel and narrative theory that will deepen readers' understanding and enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of this popular genre.
  • Provides readers with the critical tools to become expert narratologists and more insightful readers
  • Reflects on the rise of world literature, with examples drawn from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Scandinavian, and Russian novels for analysis or illustration, as well as works from English and American literature
  • Featured topics include the handling of space and time in the novel, narrative situations, literary symbols, and gendering

Translator’s Note.


1. Beginnings: What Do You Expect?

1 Beginning.

2 Sense and Meaning.

3 Rules of the Game.

4 Links and Connections.

5 I.

6 First Sentences: Enticements.

2. The Modern European Novel: Predecessors, Origins, Conventions, Sub-Genres.

1 Dangers and Allurements of Novel-Reading: What’s Novel about the Novel?

2 Fact and Fiction: No Man is an Island.

3 Fiction, Illusion, Realism.

4 Variety of Types: Triumph of Polyphony.

3. The Object of Every Analysis: The How of the What (Discourse and Story).

4. Time.

1 Narrative Time and Narrated Time.

2 Order.

3 Frequency.

4 Tense and Narrative.

5. Characters.

1 Character Conception.

2 Character Portrayal.

6. Teutonic Rosette or Gallic Taxonomy? Identifying the Narrative Situation.

1 Prologue.

2 Stanzel’s Typological Circle: A Preliminary Overview.

3 Splitting the In-dividual: The First-Person Narrative Situation.

4 The Impossibility of the Familiar: The Authorial Narrative Situation.

5 Abolishing Narrative in Narrative – the Illusion of Immediacy: The Figural Narrative Situation.

6 Genette’s Narrative Theory: The Basics.

7 Who Speaks? – Voice.

8 Who Perceives? – Focalization.

9 Internal – External: Advantage Genette?

10 Coda.

11 The Novel as Atonement.

7. Multiperspectivity, Unreliability, and the Impossibility of Editing Out the Gender Aspect.

1 Multiperspectivity.

2 Unreliable Narration.

3 The Narration’s Gender.

8. Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Symbolism and Space.

9. The End of the Novel and the Future of an Illusion.

1 Experience, Storytelling, (Hi)stories.

2 Meaning Orientation.

3 Novels: Allegories of Telling.


Further Reading.

Index of Authors and Critics.

“In addition to an extensive list of "References" and an "Index of Authors and Critics," Bode also offers a useful list of "Further Reading" materials containing titles on narratology and literary criticism in general, as well as information on literary and cultural theory. Thus, Bode's The Novel: An Introduction is a highly readable, at times quite amusing, very learned and extremely well researched study of the most important literary genre of modern times.”  (Anglistik, 2 September 2012)

“Christoph Bode’s The Novel, which is a translation of Der Roman, is a great introduction to the study of the novel. It is comprehensive, well-written, lucid, and to the point.”  (Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 2012)

 “Moreover, Bode’s clarifications of concepts, jargon and theories, as well as his persuasive emphasis on the ‘possibilities of the generation and construction of meaning’ (p. 256), will make the reader return to this multi-layered and meaningful introduction.”  (European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire, 6 July 2012)

"This book serves as a comprehensive introduction to the more technical aspects of the theory of the novel". (Times Higher Education Supplement, 17 March 2011)