The Domain of the Novel
Reflections on Some Historical Definitions
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The Domain of the Novel: Reflections of Some Historical Definitions discusses the genre of the novel and its dialogic and dialectical characteristics through an in-depth analysis of some classic English, Russian, American and Indian novels. A collection of lectures by the distinguished scholar of literature, A. N. Kaul, it analyses the exploration of personal voices and histories within a larger socio-political landscape in these works.
Drawing examples from the works of Fielding, George Eliot, Dickens, Thackeray, Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, R.K. Narayan and others, who defined and redefined the territories of the novel, this book examines the articulation of the lived social, political and material realities of ordinary individuals in this genre. The essays situate the novel within their cultural, socio-political, and historical contexts while focusing on their historical continuity and relevance. They further demonstrate how the domain of the novel brings together a multitude of voices while discussing conflicts of class, identity, nationalism, and historiography.
The volume includes an insightful critical introduction by Sambudha Sen. It will be of great interest to researchers and scholars of literature, cultural studies, post-colonial studies, literary theory, creative writing, history, and sociology. It will be especially useful for readers interested in studying forms of fiction and the 18th, 19th, and 20th century novel.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Mythili Kaul. Introduction by Sambudha Sen. 1. ‘A New Province of Writing’ 2. Nationality and the Novel 3. Ideology and the Novel 4. ‘What is Past, or Passing, or to Come:’ Hawthorne and the Idea of Historical Continuity. Index.
A. N. Kaul (1930-2017), Rhodes Scholar, B.Litt. from the University of Oxford, Fulbright and Rockefeller Fellow, Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale where his dissertation, The American Vision: Actual and Ideal Society in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, won both the John Addison Porter and George Egleston History Prizes and was published by the Yale University Press in 1963. Considered a path-breaking study it continues to be relevant. Apart from articles and reviews, he is the author of The Action of English Comedy: Studies in the Encounter of Abstraction and Experience from Shakespeare to Shaw (1970); History, Sociology and the American Romance (1990); and edited Hawthorne in the 20th Century Views series (1966). He had a distinguished teaching career. Starting at Delhi College (now Zakir Hussain College), University of Delhi, he was Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Yale, and, deciding to return to India, Professor (and Head for several years) of English at the University of Delhi and, later, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He was Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, the University of Kashmir, Sir George Williams (now Concordia) University, Montreal, the University of Texas at Austin on two separate occasions and Oberlin College, Ohio. He moved permanently to Edmonton, Alberta, in 2012.
Sambudha Sen is Professor and Head, Department. of English, Shiv Nadar University, studied at the University of Delhi, his doctoral work was on Charles Dickens, and he taught there for several years becoming Professor and Head, Dept. of English, before moving to his present position. He has held fellowships, among other places, at Cambridge University, Bellagio, the Huntingdon Library and Columbia University, and been Visiting Professor at Jadavpur and Calcutta Universities. He has published widely and his articles on the 18th and19th century novel have appeared in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Victorian Studies and his book London, Radical Expression and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic (2012).
Mythili Kaul is a retired Professor and a former Head, Department of English, University of Delhi, taught there throughout her career. Her doctoral work at Yale was on Shakespeare's Romances and she has published articles on Shakespeare in national and international journals and edited Othello: New Essays by Black Writers (1997).