Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 by Franco Moretti

By Franco Moretti

An Atlas of the eu Novel 1800-1900 explores the interesting connections among literature and area. during this pioneering examine, Franco Moretti offers a clean and intriguing viewpoint at the ecu novel.In a sequence of 1 hundred maps, Moretti illuminates the geographical assumptions of nineteenth-century novels and the geographical achieve of specific authors and genres around the continent. an excellent map, he discovers, might be worthy one thousand phrases in posing new questions and permitting us to work out connections that experience to date escaped us. interpreting his Atlas, we observe the key constitution of Dickens's and Conan Doyle's London, and spot how the fictitious settings of Austen's Britain, or picaresque Spain, or the France of the Comedie humaine think nationwide identification in several methods. In a last bankruptcy on 'narrative markets', Moretti tells us which books have been hottest within the provincial libraries of Victorian Britain, and charts the eu diffusion of Don Quixote, Buddenbrooks, and the nice nineteenth-century bestsellers.

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21. 26 In general, the novel has not stimulated social polyphony (as Bakhtin would ha ve it), but rather reduced it (as I have tried to show he re and there in The Way ofthe World and Modern Epie). The undeniable polyphony of the Russian novel of ideas is in this respect the exception, not the rule, of no~elistic evolution: not by chance generated, as we ha ve seen in figure 1 1, by a European, nota national framc. 46 The novel, the nation-state Atlas of the European novel 18oo-1900 geography. Although metaphors still increase near the border, the latter is only seldom a geographical entity: usually, it belongs toa scale of experience for which the term 'geography' is wholly inappropriate.

Asymmetry with a basis in reality, of course (urbanization is mostly for young people), and through which the Bildungsroman redefines the non-contemporaneity of European nation-states as a physiological fact -leaving behind the pathological tensions of historical novels. Between Angouleme and París, or Rochester and London, or Fratta and Venice, the difference is no longer one of civilizations, but of fashions; fashion, this great metropolitan idea, designed for young peopletfnd by them); this engine that never stops, and makes the provinces feel old and ugly and jealous- and seduces them forever anda da y.

M y friend', said Des Lupeaulx, 'how can you imagine that the Marquise d'Espard, Chiitclet and Madame de Bargeton, who has had the Baron appointed Prefect of the Charantc and made a Count a:s·a preparation fortheir triumphal return to Angouleme, have forgiven Lucien for his attacks? 37 70 The novel, the nation-state Atlas of the European noveli8oo-1900 1 o. Theoretical interlude 1l. Geography ofplot Maps; spatial patterns: granted. But are we sure that they are indeed conveyed to readers, and that readers find them significant?

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