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U45. 18th Century GB "Revolutions" > 4. The Rise of the Novel > Flashcards

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Why the rise of the novel?

The sudden appearance of the novel was a manifestation of a marked change in the direction of men’s interest. The notion of an extended public was coming, although the process was gradual. The public was interested in real life, in the recognisable facts of its own experience.There is also a new reading public, as we said: the middle class.


Right. What author would you name in the 1st place?

4.1. Jonathan Swift.


Who was Jonathan Swift?

Swift has been considered to be the greatest English writer of the classical age. In any case, he was a very independent classicist. He wrote so contemptuously that was called a cynic. Swift make use of savage and biting irony to defend the causes he believed in: literature, religion and politics.


What is Swift’s most remarkable contribution?

“The Battle of the Books” is his contribution to the quarrel between Ancients and Moderns


A second Swift’s contribution could be ..

“In a Tale of a Tub” in which the satire is turned against the Presbyterians and Roman Catholics.


But, What literary artwork is Swift famous for?

“Gulliver’s Travels”


What happens in the 1st part of Gulliver’s travels?

In the 1st part Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon on a merchant ship, relates his shipwreck on the island of Liliput, the habitants of which are six inches high.


What happens in the 2nd part of Gulliver’s travels?

In the second part Gulliver is accidentally left ashore on Brobdingnag, where the inhabitants are as tall as steeples.


What happens in the 3rd part of Gulliver’s travels?

In the third part the satire is thrown against philosophers, men of science, historians, and projectors with special reference to the South Sea Company


What happens in the 4th part of Gulliver’s travels?

In the 4th part Gulliver arrives to Houhnhnms, where live some horses he talks with (a satiric comparison with humans)


What author would you name in the 2nd place?

4.2. Samuel Johnson


Who was Samuel Johnson?

He was the last spokesman in Europe for particular moral and literary tradition which went back to the humanism of Renaissance and Ancient Rome and Greece. He had to abandon his University career for lack of money and began working as a journalist for Edward Cave and his Gentleman’s Magazine.


What did Johnson published?

He published his “Account of the Life of Richard Savage” and then he intended to bring an English dictionary up to the level of the great dictionaries of France and Italy with his “Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language”. He wrote definitions to more than 40.000 words, illustrating their many meanings with thousands of quotations.


Apart from all that, Did Johnson write anything else?

He wrote his famous Rambler essays. The Rambler was a periodical essay published twice a week whose purpose was “to consider the moral discipline of the mind”.


Would you add anything else about Johnson?

When Johnson became Doctor of Laws and was therefore known as “Doctor Johnson”, his edition on Shakespeare appeared. Johnson became the very centre of English literature, and a number of fertile groupings gathered around him during his lifetime.


What author would you name in the 3rd place?

4.3. Daniel Defoe.


How would you describe Defoe?

Defoe was almost the prototype of a kind of Englishman increasingly prominent during the 18th century: the man from the lower classes, whose bias was essentially practical and whose success in life was intimately connected with his Protestant religious beliefs and the notion of personal responsibility they inculcated. He expresses this new type of Englishman in the character of Crusoe.


What is Defoe’s fundamental artwork?

Robinson Crusoe


Can you talk about “Robinson Crusoe”?

Robinson Crusoe is not just a travel story; it is also a sincere attempt to convert a godless form of literature to the purposes of religion and morality. This book was an immediate success at home and on the continent.


What was Dafoe’s most important innovation?

Dafoe’s most important innovation in fiction was his unprecedentedly complete narrative realism. Puritanism is also partly responsible for Defoe’s literary realism. However, we look at Defoe’s work rather differently today


What other features do we find in Robinson Crusoe?

Robinson Crusoe also prefigures some of the spiritual loneliness and social alienation which this civilisation has brought with it: Puritan Individualism.


What other features would you highlight in Defoe’s style?

Regarding his style, Defoe concentrates his description on the primary qualities of objects and the gives them in the simplest language. We can say that his natural prose style is not only an admirable vehicle in itself, it is also much closer to the vernacular of the ordinary person than any previous writer’s.


What author would you name in the 4th place?

4.4. Samuel Richardson.


How would you describe Richardson?

Like Defoe, it was late in life and almost by chance that he set himself to original composition. He was fifty when he was commissioned by two London booksellers to compile a volujme of familiar letters which should serve as models for the uneducated in their correspondence.


What are Richardson’s most remarkable novels?

Clarissa; The History of Sir Charles Grandison


What are the characteristics of most of his novels?

1. Implies first person narrative, thus giving an air of authenticity.


A 2nd characteristic of Robinson’s novels ..

2. Justifies minuteness and circumstantiality


A 3rd characteristic of Robinson’s novels ..

3. Favours a sense of the passing of time or duration


A 4th characteristic of Robinson’s novels ..

4. Heightens the dramatic tensions and the reader’s sense of involvement.


A 5th characteristic of Robinson’s novels ..

5. Letters written by different characters give different accounts of the same scene or circumstances.


A 6th characteristic of Robinson’s novels ..

6. There is a danger of formlessness in the epistolary novel.


What author would you name in the 5th place?

4.5. Henry Fielding.


How did Fielding turned into novel?

Fielding turned to novel writing after a successful period as a dramatist, during which his most popular work had been in burlesque forms.


What books by Fielding would you highlight?

Pamela, Shamela, The History of Tom Jones