/ nɑːvl̩ /
Množina reči novel je novels.
ETYM French nouvelle. Related to Novel.
1. A extended fictional work in prose; usually in the form of a story.
2. A novel as a physical object.
Extended fictional prose narrative, often including the psychological development of the central characters and of their relationship with a broader world. The modern novel took its name and inspiration from the Italian novella, the short tale of varied character which became popular in the late 13th century. As the main form of narrative fiction in the 20th century, the novel is frequently classified according to genres and subgenres such as the historical novel, detective fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.
The European novel is said to have originated in Greece in the 2nd century bc. Ancient Greek examples include the Daphnis and Chloë of Longus; almost the only surviving Latin work that could be called a novel is the Golden Ass of Apuleius (late 2nd century), based on a Greek model. There is a similar, but until the 19th century independent, tradition of prose narrative including psychological development in the Far East, notably in Japan, with, for example, the 11th-century Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu.
A major period of the novel’s development came during the late Italian Renaissance, when the stimulus of foreign travel, increased wealth, and changing social patterns produced a greater interest in the events of everyday life, as opposed to religious teaching, legends of the past, or fictional fantasy. The works of the Italian writers Boccaccio and Matteo Bandello (1485–1561) were translated into English in such collections as William Painter’s Palace of Pleasure 1566–67, and inspired the Elizabethan novelists, including John Lyly, Philip Sidney, Thomas Nash, and Thomas Lodge.
In Spain, Cervantes’ Don Quixote 1604 contributed to the development of the novel through its translation into other European languages, but the 17th century was dominated by the French romances of Gauthier de Costes de la Calprenčde (1614–1663) and Madelaine de Scudéry (1607–1691), although William Congreve and Aphra Behn continued the English tradition. With the growth of literacy, the novel rapidly developed from the 18th century to become, in the 20th century, the major literary form.
16th and 17th-century romances.
During the 16th and 17th centuries four kinds of prose fiction became popular: comic romance, political romance, pastoral romance, and heroic romance.
Comic romance substantially began with François Rabelais’s burlesque romances in the 1530s. The Vita di Bertoldo 1618, by the Italian Giulio Cesare Croce was, for 200 years, as popular in Italy as Robinson Crusoe or the Pilgrim’s Progress in England. In the next century France produced, among others, Paul Scarron’s Roman comique 1651–57, and Furétičre’s Roman bourgeois 1666.
Probably the earliest political romance, though more a book of philosophy than a work of fiction, was Thomas More’s Utopia 1516 (first translated from original Latin into English 1551).
The first major pastoral romance was Arcadia 1501, by Jacopo Sannazaro, written in Italian. This was followed by Jorge de Montemayor’s Diana 1559, written in Spanish, and from which Shakespeare took the plot of Two Gentlemen of Verona 1623, as well as some of the most amusing incidents in A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1600. Probably the most significant English prose fiction of the period in this class was Arcadia 1590, by Philip Sidney.
Heroic romances, dominated by French writers, included Marin le Roy de Gomberville’s Pinexandre 1632, La Calprenčde’s Cassandre 1644–50, and Madelaine de Scudéry’s Artamčne ou le grand Cyrus 1648–53.
18th century overview.
During the 18th century, the most brilliant European works were produced by French and English writers. These works reflected a preoccupation with the events of the time, and included carefully designed prose to carry both scientific, political, and religious theories, as well as biography, history, and journalism, but little fiction; most of the writers of fiction for the next 70 years combined abilities from other fields.
Exploring the novel form.
Daniel Defoe was an inspired writer of prose fiction, and although his novels show many signs of the highest art and organization, they remain in some respects works of journalism rather than fiction. Most critics acknowledge the true birth of the English novel with the publication of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela 1740, which opened the way to the full exploration of the novel’s potential. By the close of the 18th century most of the possibilities inherent in the novel had been mapped out; from Tobias Smollett’s novels of successive events to Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1760–67), in which virtually all the potentials of the novel form are explored, mocked, achieved, discussed, and demonstrated. Another notable achievement was the Vicar of Wakefield, 1766, by Oliver Goldsmith.
The modern romantic school.
The publication in 1765 of Thomas Percy’s Reliques reawakened an interest in the age of chivalry and romance. The first of the modern romantic school was Horace Walpole, whose Castle of Otranto was published 1764. The greatest genius in this form, which came to be called the “Gothic novel”, was undoubtedly Mrs Radcliffe, whose The Mysteries of Udolpho 1794, and other works were abundantly imitated, and had a profound influence on the taste of generations of readers, who looked for fiction which combined art with the fantastic, the grotesque, and the mysterious, and made a strong appeal to the emotions.
19th century overview.
In the early 19th century Walter Scott developed the historical novel, and Jane Austen wrote perceptive “novels of manners”. English fiction had an immediate impact throughout Europe and beyond. Given such impetus, the Victorian novel in England rapidly became institutionalized. Celebrated British novelists of the Victorian age were Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, the Brontës, George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The 19th century was also a great period for the novel in the us, with James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mark Twain.
The work of George Gissing showed the beginnings of the realist style, taking lower class life for its theme. The influence of Johann Goethe and the German romance was shown in France in the idealistic novels of George Sand. Then, with a greater mixture of realism, came the novels of Honoré de Balzac; allied to him in the “realist” school were Stendhal and Prosper Mérimée. The second half of the century was dominated by Gustave Flaubert, who succeeded in fusing the romantic and the realistic.
Descended from Flaubert are such later writers as Ireland's George Moore, while others who reveal more or less directly the influence of the French naturalistic movement, such as England's Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad. The naturalist novel was further developed by the brothers Goncourt and Alphonse Daudet, although naturalism was not formulated into a theory of art until Émile Zola did so. He and Guy de Maupassant were responsible for the spread of naturalism throughout Europe, evidenced in the Swede August Strindberg, in the German social novels of Friedrich Spielhagen (1829–1911), Theodor Fontane (1819–98), Otto Ludwig (1813–65), the Swiss Jeremias Gotthelf and Gottfried Keller, and in the Spanish realist José Maria de Pereda, followed by Armando Valdes.
The Italian novel.
In the Italian novel French influence is also recognizable. The chief of the Italian realist school was Giovanni Verga, whose most prominent followers were Luigi Capuana, De Roberto Fogazzaro and Gabriele D'Annunzio, all of whom also achieved European reputations, though their talent is more Romantic than that of their contemporaries.
Naturalism in England.
In England the influence of the French naturalists was seen especially in the works of Arnold Bennett, but the English social novel tended toward sociological study—as in the work of H G Wells and John Galsworthy. The English novel is traditionally loose in structure, and in this respect has more in common with the Russian novel than with the French.
The Russian novel.
The first part of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace appeared in 1862 and the work was completed seven years later. Realism, which in western Europe was a moral revolt against the excesses of Romanticism, was, in Russia, a natural growth free from theorizing. The contribution of the Russian novelists, epitomized in Tolstoy, is the shift of emphasis from the physiological to the psychological. Though Tolstoy was Russia’s greatest novelist, it was Ivan Turgenev who influenced European literature most, since he combined Russian concentration on the psychology of his characters with French artistry and compactness of form.
The 20th-century European novel is distinguished by variety and experiment. At the turn of the century, the English novel needed stimulus to leave the world of the three-volume romance. The necessary revival was provided by a number of writers, many of which were ardent theorists of the novel as well as practitioners, and it was under their influence that the novel made its second great development.
After 1920, it is no longer possible simply to analyze the novel in terms of plot and characters. The principal influence was French, and the high level of art to which the French novel had aspired in the second half of the 19th century. Radically new methods of handling time, space, consciousness, relationship, story, and even words themselves, were tried. There was both an adherence to and a revolt against French naturalism. It was felt that the “realism” or “naturalism” of the older novels, was not really true to life.
There was a reaction to ultrarealism which resulted in Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out 1915, and marcel Proust’s Ŕ la recherche du temps perdu (translated as Remembrance of Things Past) 1913. In addition the novels of James Joyce and Ivy Comton-Burnett were influential in the development of the novel technique. However, tradition continued—E M Forster, in method, was a mid-19th-century novelist, displaying an orderly unfolding of story and character.
Lawrence and Huxley.
Two other important figures in the 20th-century English novel are D H Lawrence and Aldous Huxley. Lawrence was deeply conscious of the threat posed to society and to the individual by industrialization and by a growing complexity of life, stifling natural human relations. His best novels center on the conflict between love and will, art and knowledge; he is a major influence on the modern novel. Huxley also saw the individual threatened by a society increasingly moving to enclose, stifle, and control him. His reaction against the horror of the prospect is revealed in Brave New World 1932.
The “Angry Young Men”.
During the 1950s a group of novelists who chose working-class settings for their books attracted attention, and were loosely referred to as the “Angry Young Men”. They included John Wain, Kingsley Amis, John Braine, Alan Sillitoe and David Storey; each had a distinctive approach to the novel.
The German novel.
In Germany, before the Nazi regime, there was a literature of revolt, which included the novels of Heinrich and Thomas Mann, Theodore Plivier, and Ludwig Renn, most of it then unknown in England. The novels of Heinrich Mann portray a Germany in all its vulgar prosperity in the decades preceding World War i. The aftermath of the war brought novels of disillusionment; others took war as their theme. Major novels stressing human loneliness and nightmare, and using to the full the bleak techniques of the short novel, were written by Franz Kafka and Hermann Hesse.
The us novel.
Before World War ii Edna Ferber, Sinclair Lewis, Pearl Buck, Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, and William Faulkner established themselves. After the war a new generation of us novelists reached maturity, with many of them crossing into poetry and short stories as well. This group included Norman Mailer, Joseph Heller, Robert Penn Warren, Truman Capote, Lillian Hellman, Katherine Porter, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, J D Salinger, James Baldwin, Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Joyce Oates, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Updike.
The novel continues to flourish as a form. Recent writers include Anthony Powell, John Fowles, Kingsley and Martin Amis, Anthony Burgess, Iris Murdoch, Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie, and Vikram Seth.