Wednesday, January 28, 2009

History and theory of the novel

Mark Thwaite has been thinking about the history of the novel, and asks what should be on his reading list. Here is an introductory (not a comprehensive) list of fifty some titles.

• Allen, Walter. The English Novel: A Short Critical History. London: Phoenix House, 1954.
• Allott, Miriam, ed. Novelists on the Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.
• Bell, Michael Davitt. The Problem of American Realism: Studies in the Cultural History of a Literary Idea. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
• Bewley, Marius. The Eccentric Design: Form in the Classic American Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.
• Bissell, Frederick O., Jr. Fielding’s Theory of the Novel. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1933.
• Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.
• Bridgman, Richard. The Colloquial Style in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966.
• Brown, Herbert R. The Sentimental Novel in America, 1789–1860. Durham, N.Car.: Duke University Press, 1940.
• Butler, Marilyn. Jane Austen and the War of Ideas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975.
• Cecil, Lord David. Early Victorian Novelists: Essays in Revaluation. London: Constable, 1934.
• Chase, Richard. The American Novel and Its Tradition. New York: Doubleday, 1957.
• Cross, Wilbur L. The Development of the English Novel. New York: Macmillan, 1933.
• Davis, Lennard J. Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.
• Day, Geoffrey. From Fiction to the Novel. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.
• Dillard, Annie. Living by Fiction. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.
• Dryden, Edgar A. The Form of American Romance. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.
• Fiedler, Leslie A. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York: Criterion, 1960.
• Forster, E. M. Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1927.
• Halperin, John, ed. The Theory of the Novel: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
• James, Henry. The Art of the Novel: Critical Prefaces. Ed. R. P. Blackmur. New York: Scribner’s, 1934.
• ———. Theory of Fiction. Ed. James E. Miller. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1972.
• Jefferson, Ann. The Nouveau Roman and the Poetics of Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980.
• Karl, Frederick R. The Adversary Literature: The English Novel in the Eighteenth Century. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1974.
• ———. An Age of Fiction: The Nineteenth-Century British Novel. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1964.
• ———. American Fictions, 1940–1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Evaluation. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.
• Kazin, Alfred. On Native Grounds: An Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1942.
• Kermode, Frank. The Art of Telling: Essays on Fiction. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983.
• Leavis, F. R. The Great Tradition. London: Chatto & Windus, 1948.
• Leavis, Q. D. Fiction and the Reading Public. London: Chatto & Windus, 1932.
• Liddell, Robert. On the Novel. Ed. Wayne C. Booth. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.
• Lodge, David. Language of Fiction: Essays in Criticism and Verbal Analysis of the English Novel. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966.
• Martin, H. C. Style in Prose Fiction. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.
• Maxwell, D. E. S. American Fiction: The Intellectual Background. New York: Columbia University Press, 1963.
• McKeon, Michael. The Origins of the English Novel, 1600–1740. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
• Minter, David L. A Cultural History of the American Novel: Henry James to William Faulkner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
• Mizener, Arthur. The Sense of Life in the Modern Novel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.
• Muir, Edwin. The Structure of the Novel. London: Woolf, 1928.
• Perosa, Sergio. American Theories of the Novel, 1793–1903. New York: New York University Press, 1983.
• Phelan, James. Worlds from Words: A Theory of Language in Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
• Pizer, Donald. Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1966.
• Roberts, Thomas J. When Is Something Fiction? Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1972.
• Sacks, Sheldon. Fiction and the Shape of Belief. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
• Seidel, Michael. Exile and the Narrative Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.
• Smith, Henry Nash. Democracy and the Novel: Popular Resistance to Classic American Writers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.
• Stang, Richard. The Theory of the Novel in England, 1850–1870. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.
• Tuttleton, James W. The Novel of Manners in America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972.
• Van Doren, Carl. The American Novel, 1789–1939. Rev.ed. New York: Macmillan, 1940.
• Van Ghent, Dorothy. The English Novel: Form and Function. New York: Rinehart, 1953.
• Vernon, John. Money and Fiction: Literary Realism in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984.
• Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957.
• Wood, James. How Fiction Works. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2008.

4 comments:

Novalis said...

Interesting to see Wood's new book on your list--it got a number of lukewarm or even harsh reviews. I rather liked it, as I like his essays in general, but then again, I'm probably a middlebrow sort anyway. You thought it worth reading I assume?

D. G. Myers said...

For its historical interest. And for the prose. Wood writes better than any critic now writing. Alas.

Mark Thwaite said...

Thanks for the list DGM!

There is also a useful university list here: http://tinyurl.com/bq96c4

Amateur Reader said...

What, Joseph Epstein is chopped liver? Or William Pritchard? Christopher Benfey, too. Admittedly, Epstein and Pritchard don't write that much criticism anymore.