A History of the French Novel: From the Beginning to the Close of the 19th Century

A History of the French Novel: From the Beginning to the Close of the 19th Century

by George Saintsbury
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In beginning what, if it ever gets finished, must in all probability be the last of some already perhaps too numerous studies of literary history, I should like to point out that the plan of it is somewhat different from that of most, if not all, of its predecessors. I have usually gone on the principle (which I still think a sound one) that, in studying the…  See more details below

Overview

In beginning what, if it ever gets finished, must in all probability be the last of some already perhaps too numerous studies of literary history, I should like to point out that the plan of it is somewhat different from that of most, if not all, of its predecessors. I have usually gone on the principle (which I still think a sound one) that, in studying the literature of a country, or in dealing with such general characteristics of parts of literature as prosody, or such coefficients of all literature as criticism, minorities are, sometimes at least, of as much importance as majorities, and that to omit them altogether is to risk, or rather to assure, an imperfect--and dangerously imperfect--product.

In the present instance, however, I am attempting something that I have never, at such length, attempted before--the history of a Kind, and a Kind which has distinguished itself, as few others have done, by communicating to readers the pleasure of literature. I might almost say that it is the history of that pleasure, quite as much as the history of the kind itself, that I wish to trace. In doing so it is obviously superfluous to include inferiorities and failures, unless they have some very special lesson or interest, or have been (as in the case of the minorities on the bridge of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries) for the most part, and unduly, neglected, though they are important as experiments and links. We really do want here--what the reprehensible hedonism of Mr. Matthew Arnold, and his submission to what some one has called "the eternal enemy, Caprice," wanted in all cases--"only the chief and principal things." I wish to give a full history of how what is commonly called the French Novel came into being and kept itself in being; but I do not wish to give an exhaustive, though I hope to give a pretty full, account of its practitioners.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016784724
Publisher:
Library of Alexandria
Publication date:
05/05/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >