9781405159517

Novel Characters : A Genealogy

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781405159517

  • ISBN10:

    1405159510

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-10-04
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Summary

The anxiety and the curiosity Jane Austen's narrator expresses for her favorite heroine is an anxiety and curiosity all true novels feel for their characters, however well, or however little loved they might be. Rather than being cause for distress, this anxiety and curiosity generates a sense of wonder at the mystery, sometimes the marvel of human character. This history of the novel, brief but synoptic, aspires to set the terms for how that history might be told and to develop a way of understanding how the concept of what a person is has changed over time.

Author Biography

Maria DiBattista is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University; she has written extensively on modern literature, popular and pulp fiction, and film. Her books include First Love: The Affections of Modern Fiction (1991), Fast Talking Dames (2001), and Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography (2009).

Table of Contents

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1 Introduction: Novel Characters.

Where Do the Novel's Characters Come From?

Surprising Characters.

Novel Types.

I Wholes.

2 Originals.

Quixote: Or the Originality of Imitators.

Original Claims and Final Reckonings.

The English Original.

Conversations with an Original.

And Now for Our Heroines.

3 Individuals.

Persuasions.

Women of Character.

Aristocrats and Commoners.

The Incomparables.

II Fractions.

4 Selves/Identities.

Me and Mine.

Visualizing the Self.

All in All.

The Final Me.

Identities.

III Compounds.

5 Native Cosmopolitans.

Native Cosmopolitans.

Stereotypes and Mimic Men.

The New Man and the Native Cosmopolitan.

Index.

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