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PROF. C. SARMIENTO ENGLISH CLASS Introduction to Novels.

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1 PROF. C. SARMIENTO ENGLISH CLASS Introduction to Novels

2 Defining what is a novel and be quite difficult and may vary from source to source. Novels often share some similar characteristics among them such as the use of narrative and plot. A novel is a book that usually has more than 100 pages that tell a story. What is a novel?

3 With the expansion of the middle class by the middle of the 18th century, more people could read and they had money to spend on literature. The word "novel" (which wasn't even used until the end of the 18th century) is an English translation of the Italian word "novella"--used to describe a short, compact, broadly realistic tale popular during the medieval period (e.g. The Decameron). Another initial major characteristic of the novel is realism--a full and authentic report of human life. The traditional novel has: a unified and plausible plot structure sharply individualized and believable characters a pervasive illusion of reality Historic Background

4 Novels were reshaped in the 20 th century due to many factors. World War I The Great Depression World War II, including the Holocaust and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima The Cold War The launch of Sputnik and advent of space flight The end of colonialism and the rise of Third World countries The reshaping of the face of world Communism Novels in the 20 th Century

5 Charles Darwin, whose Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871) described man as simply the occupant of the highest rung on the evolutionary ladder and who promoted the idea of survival of the fittest Karl Marx, who in the Communist Manifesto (1848) and Das Capital (1867) saw history as the struggle between capitalist owners and the non propertied proletariat with the revolution ultimately won by the workers Friedrich Nietzsche, whose work valued instinct over intellect and insisted on the complete freedom of the individual in a world that lacks transcendent law ("God is Dead") Key Thinkers in the 20 th Century

6 Albert Einstein whose theory of relativity (1905) abandoned concepts of absolute motion and absolute difference of time and space and proposed that reality consisted of a four- dimensional space-time continuum. Sigmund Freud, who in Interpretation of Dreams (1899) put forth a new model of personality governed in large part by irrational and unconscious survivals of infantile fantasy. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) who saw the human condition as absurd because man exists in the world without any understanding of his fate Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980), developer of existentialism, the belief that man is totally responsible for his own actions and that he ought to reject external laws Key Thinkers in the 20 th Century

7 In the 20th century man confronted emptiness and doubts about: the existence of God the primacy of the human race in creation the supremacy of reason in human affairs the perception that life is self-evidently worth living the nature of reality Doubts in the 20 th Century

8 Often called post-modern or neo-modern literature, this type of novel is thought to have begun at around 1945-1963, the era after the second World War. There are many factors that influenced contemporary novels: race riots assassinations, assassination attempts protests against the Vietnam War the rise of the gay rights movement the feminist movement marked by the publication of Kate Millet's Sexual Politics (1970) and by the appearance of Ms. magazine (1972) as well as the widespread use of the birth control pill the Watergate Scandal culminating in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974 the omnipresence of drugs and both soft and hard core pornography the decline of the family and rising divorce rates the AIDS epidemic 9/11/01 and the war on terrorism Contemporary Novel

9 While novels share some similar characteristics, their approach towards story telling may vary. However, some types of novels can be identified. Note that some of them may use elements from other types of novels thus creating novels that share literary elements. Types of Novels

10 Crime novels are concerned with the act in all its forms; its execution, its detection, and its punishment. Many of the television programs you watch today have their roots in crime novels, where long ago we discovered our fascination with the detective and the criminal mind. Murder is the ultimate, most satisfying puzzle. e.g. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, by Agatha Christie The Crime Novel

11 Historical context is crucial to many stories. The historical novel is concerned with known figures or events, either directly or tangentially. Many novels are set in past ages, however, and can be culturally illuminating even if the events portrayed are entirely or partially fictional. e.g. I, Claudius, by Robert Graves The Historical Novel

12 These novels—not to be confused with classical romance novels, a genre concerning heroic literature of the Medieval ages—have been hugely in-demand since the popularization of the novel in the 18th century. They focus on romantic love between protagonists, with a general lilt towards the positive and satisfying aspects of these unions. Most bookshops will have a romance section available. e.g. Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen Romance

13 This peculiar category became massively popular during the last century. At its most basic, it could be considered a reversion to the telling of myths and epics, but unconstrained by historical and geographical boundaries. Most fantasy novels take place in entirely fictional worlds, in which folk legends such as magic and dragons are reality. e.g. Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R Tolkien Fantasy

14 Popularized during a vibrant magazine industry that published short stories in the mid-20th century, the science fiction genre has become a diverse and steadily popular category of novel. It deals with the future, hypothesizing humans travelling to other planets, alien encounters, and a myriad of offshoots from this central theme. The genre is often used allegorically to explain our own world and time. e.g. Dune, by Frank Herbert Science Fiction

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