Terminology / Theory



Extended narrative form which developed mainly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but which has its antecedents in the epic, the romance and even the ‘ancient novel’ of the first century. Novels, which have been predominantly rendered in written prose, contain the mixed mode of mimesis and the ‘poet’s’ voice, thus facilitating their own specific heteroglossia. They have also been concerned with the psychology of individuals and especially the way in which psychology is implicated in the social relations which exist in complex situations. Since the nineteenth century, the concersn of the novel have been most strongly associated with those of realism. However, as narratives, novels have also been subject to their own form: for example, in the nineteenth century, when novels were customarily serialised in periodical publications, there was a demand for novel narratives to be episodic. The influence of the novel on later technologies of narrative such as film, radio, television and the computer has been considerable.

p 238 Narrative: The New Critical Idiom by Paul Cobley (2001)


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