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Studies in European Culture and History

The Novel-Essay, 1884-1947

Authors: Ercolino, S.

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About this book

The novel-essay emerged in France, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and reached its highest formal complexity in Austria and Germany, during the interwar period. Here, Ercolino argues that it is crucial for a renovated understating of the history of the novel in modernity.

About the authors

Stefano Ercolino is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Underwood International College, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. A former Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University, USA, and DAAD Postdoctoral Fellow in the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature at the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Germany, he is the author of The Maximalist Novel: From Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" to Roberto Bola├▒o's "2666."

Reviews

"The Novel-Essay is . . . a necessary step not just to understand the crisis of modernity or to study the premises of the ideology of postmodernism it is a chapter of the history of the novel which will allow us to understand the development of our society through the mirror of literary forms." - Los Angeles Review of Books

"Bold and well-argued, Ercolino's book focuses on the novel-essay, a genre that emerged following the great crisis of the epistemological and symbolic apparatuses of modernity . . . An exceptionally gifted specialist in the history and theory of the novel, Ercolino steps forward dauntlessly. His book is compact and dense . . . Ercolino is a scholar of enviable brilliance." - Remo Ceserani, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, University of Bologna, Italy, Alias domenica Il manifesto

"In an unusual combination, Ercolino is highly skilled at both close- and far-reading. His readers will appreciate the book's readable prose, its compressed argumentation, and its smooth synthesis of complex and varied discourses. He deftly analyzes the relationship between the novel-essay and Zolian naturalism, Cartesian rationality, the Bildungsroman, and philosophical mimesis. He demonstrates a deep understanding of the literary and philosophical landscape in modern Europe and includes even the most contemporary literary scholarship, including references to Franco Moretti's collaborative projects at the Stanford Literary Lab. This book is a must-read for specialists of the novel and the essay, and a helpful contribution for historians, philosophers, and cultural critics who focus on modernity and its transition into postmodernity. I anticipate that in our new millennium, Ercolino's will be the first of many upcoming analyses of one of the most fascinating hybrid literary forms to emerge in Europe since the last century. It is refreshing to find a new voice on the touchy question of essayistic fiction, which has been lacking since the illuminating contributions of Thomas Harrison and Claire de Obaldia. Ercolino's wide-ranging analysis delivers what it promises. One could say that he synthesizes major theories of the essay and the novel as separate genres into a new, dialectically integrated theory of the novel-essay, as though the criticism of a hybrid genre must also be hybrid." - Christy Wampole, Princeton University, USA, Modernism/modernity

"Stefano Ercolino's book is a splendid rediscovery of one of the most important modern narrative genres, the novel-essay. By showing how the various authors of novel-essays - J.-K. Huysmans, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, Robert Musil and Hermann Broch - propose a wide range of syntheses between thought and action, Ercolino's book offers a nuanced, innovative, and memorable view of modernity itself . . . Ercolino's beautiful, nuanced, and innovative work is one of the most notable recent debuts in literary history." - Thomas Pavel, Gordon J. Laing Distinguished Service Professor in French and Comparative Literature, University of Chicago, USA, Strumenti critici, and author of The Lives of the Novel

"The daring hypothesis of Ercolino's study - which ranges over a half century of literary history, over a half-dozen writers of the likes of Musil, Dostoevsky, Mann, and Huysmans, and over the insights of even more numerous literary theorists - is that the hybrid aesthetics of the novel-essay does not merely enact the symbolic crisis of modernist thinking; it also furnishes the most resounding intellectual reply." - Thomas Harrison, Professor of Italian, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

"The greatest achievement of the [book's] broad-ranging analysis . . . is being able and willing to tackle literary works - even some of the classics of our tradition - within dynamic systems such as genres, through which texts can describe effectively . . . the symbolic changes that took place in society and history." - Guido Mattia Gallerani, ITEM (Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes), ENS-CNRS, France, Between


Table of contents (4 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40411-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Download immediately after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-40410-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $32.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-48720-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Novel-Essay, 1884-1947
Authors
Series Title
Studies in European Culture and History
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-40411-4
DOI
10.1057/9781137404114
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-40410-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-48720-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 194
Topics