Topics in Literary Theory and History: Theories of the Modern European Novel
The modern European novel has been haunted by the accusation of illegitimacy. From its eighteenth-century inception onward, the uncomfortable place of the novel among the poetic genres inherited from antiquity has solicited an unparalleled intensity of critical reflection. This course examines several ‘classical’ and contemporary meditations on the novel, alongside close consideration of three representative early examples. We will probe the uses and disadvantages of generic distinctions at the intersection of literary history and literary theory.