Collins Living-Learning Center | Life and Times of the Novel
L310 | 7929 | Varga

What is the novel? Can we speak of the “birth” of the novel? When and where
did it occur? How has the novel developed and how can it be defined? The
focus of the course is the European novel, but to define it in its context, we will
look at some examples of the genre from other traditions, such as Heian
Japan and twentieth-century Kenya. On our journey in search of definitions, it
will become obvious that the novel is a migrant and hybrid genre that cannot
simply be called prose as it also encompasses poetry, drama, myth, and
folklore. We will try to understand some of the tools employed by novelists
and explore the issue of reading by looking at the interaction between text
and reader and a variety of audience-oriented criticism.