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Romantic Prose Fiction

Romantic Prose Fiction

by Gerald Gillespie
In this volume a team of three dozen international experts presents a fresh picture of literary prose fiction in the Romantic age seen from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The work treats the appearance of major themes in characteristically Romantic versions, the power of Romantic discourse to reshape imaginative writing, and a series of crucial


In this volume a team of three dozen international experts presents a fresh picture of literary prose fiction in the Romantic age seen from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The work treats the appearance of major themes in characteristically Romantic versions, the power of Romantic discourse to reshape imaginative writing, and a series of crucial reactions to the impact of Romanticism on cultural life down to the present, both in Europe and in the New World. Through its combination of chapters on thematic, generic, and discursive features, Romantic Prose Fiction achieves a unique theoretical stance, by considering the opinions of primary Romantics and their successors not as guiding “truths” by which to define the permanent “meaning” of Romanticism, but as data of cultural history that shed important light on an evolving civilization.SPECIAL OFFER: 30% discount for a complete set order (5 vols.).The Romanticism series in the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages is the result of a remarkable international collaboration. The editorial team coordinated the efforts of over 100 experts from more than two dozen countries to produce five independently conceived, yet interrelated volumes that show not only how Romanticism developed and spread in its principal European homelands and throughout the New World, but also the ways in which the affected literatures in reaction to Romanticism have redefined themselves on into Modernism. A glance at the index of each volume quickly reveals the extraordinary richness of the series’ total contents. Romantic Irony sets the broader experimental parameters of comparison by concentrating on the myriad expressions of “irony” as one of the major impulses in the Romantic philosophical and artistic revolution, and by combining cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies with special attention also to literatures in less widely diffused language streams. Romantic Drama traces creative innovations that deeply altered the understanding of genre at large, fed popular imagination through vehicles like the opera, and laid the foundations for a modernist theater of the absurd. Romantic Poetry demonstrates deep patterns and a sharing of crucial themes of the revolutionary age which underlie the lyrical expression that flourished in so many languages and environments. Nonfictional Romantic Prose assists us in coping with the vast array of writings from the personal and intimate sphere to modes of public discourse, including Romanticism’s own self-commentary in theoretical statements on the arts, society, life, the sciences, and more. Nor are the discursive dimensions of imaginative literature neglected in the closing volume, Romantic Prose Fiction, where the basic Romantic themes and story types (the romance, novel, novella, short story, and other narrative forms) are considered throughout Europe and the New World. This enormous realm is seen not just in terms of Romantic theorizing, but in the light of the impact of Romantic ideas and narration on later generations. As an aid to readers, the introduction to Romantic Prose Fiction explains the relationships among the volumes in the series and carries a listing of their tables of contents in an appendix. No other series exists comparable to these volumes which treat the entirety of Romanticism as a cultural happening across the whole breadth of the “Old” and “New” Worlds and thus render a complex picture of European spiritual strivings in the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, a heritage still very close to our age.

Editorial Reviews

John Boening
[...] there are still relatively few truly comparative and collaborative studies of the kind represented by the volume at hand (and its counterparts in the ICLA'S CHLEL series). The continuing - indeed possibly even increasing - insularity of so much work in literary studies, despite all the cross-cultural name-dropping and second-hand allusion, is not worthy of an age, or a learned profession, that claims to have recognized the need for a heightened level of global awareness. That, if nothing else, is a compelling rationale for projects like Romantic Prose Fiction and the other volumes in the ICLA CHLEL series, and for their widest possible distribution and circulation.
Angela Esterhammer
This impressive volume offers a wealth of insights into the interrelationships of Romantic fictional prose throughout most of Europe and parts of the Americas, with additional glances toward Asia. Like its four predecessor volumes in the “Romanticism subseries" of the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages (devoted, respectively, to Romatic irony, drama, poetry, and non-fictional prose), it is the result of a massive team effort by international scholars whose essays constantly interweave, reflecting on many of the same authors and works yet linking them to ever new texts and contexts. [...] Romantic Prose Fiction is a remarkable achievement, not only for the rich scope of materials and insights it offers, but for its valuable sub-text of self-reflection on the way a comparative study of Romanticism helps at times to clarify - and at times to problematize - our modern critical consciousness.
Prof. Dr. habil. Dirl Oschmann
[...] das Buch bietet erstens eine gute Einführung in romantische Denk- und Darstellingsformen, und es bekommt zweitens durch das grosse Spektrum an komparatistischen Perspektiven den Charakter eines lehrreichen Handbuchs zur Romantik als internationaler Entwicklung, dessen Lektüre gerade auch jedem Germanisten empfohlen sei.
Carol Tully
The editors of this volume are to be complimented on the comprehensive nature and quality of the studies they include. The impressive range of contributors is testimony in itself to the standard of scholarship on show, with some of the leading names in the field featuring prominently. There is also a notably international array of contributors, something crucial to but often absent from such volumes which claim comprehensive coverage and a comparative approach. In choosing such an array, the editors have managed to negotiate the potential pitfalls surrounding such comparative works, which perversely often fail to represent a truly broad range of approaches and cultural diversities. The volume ends with a full listing of the content of all five volumes in the subseries. The range of material covered is impressive and, even at a glance, it is clear what a mammoth undertaking this has been. The current volume is valuable in itself but, seen in the context of the entire subseries, it becomes clear that the editors have created an invaluable critical resource which would greatly enhance any scholarly library.

Product Details

John Benjamins Publishing Company
Publication date:
Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.65(h) x (d)

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