The Way Of The World

The Way Of The World

by Franco Moretti
     
 

Wilhelm Meister, Elizabeth Bennet, Julien Sorel, Rastignac, Jane Eyre, Bazaroz, Dorothea Brooke ... the golden age of the European novel discovers a new collective protagonist: youth. It is problematic and restless youth—“strange” characters, as their own creators often say—arising from the downfall of traditional societies. But even

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Overview

Wilhelm Meister, Elizabeth Bennet, Julien Sorel, Rastignac, Jane Eyre, Bazaroz, Dorothea Brooke ... the golden age of the European novel discovers a new collective protagonist: youth. It is problematic and restless youth—“strange” characters, as their own creators often say—arising from the downfall of traditional societies. But even more than that, youth is the symbolic figure for European modernity: that sudden mix of great expectations and lost illusions that the bourgeois world learns to “read”, and to accept, as if it were a novel.

The Way of the World, with its unique combination of narrative theory and social history, interprets the Bildungsroman as the great cultural mediator of nineteenth-century Europe: a form which explores the many strange compromises between revolution and restoration, economic take-off and aesthetic pleasure, individual autonomy and social normality. This new edition includes an additional final chapter on the collapse of the Bildungsroman in the years around the First World War (a crisis which opened the way for modernist experiments), and a new preface in which the author looks back at The Way of the World in the light of his more recent work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A short, brilliant, provocative and often entertainingly upbeat book.”—New Society

“A pointed example of the nature of youth, as represented in the novels of Austen, Balzac, Dickens, Eliot, Flaubert, Goethe and Stendhal ... [Moretti] is undoubtedly a brilliant and searching critic.”—Independent

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859842980
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
09/17/2000
Edition description:
New
Pages:
292
Sales rank:
1,010,009
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Franco Moretti teaches English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World and Modern Epic, all from Verso.

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