Normally, I wouln't publish any quotion here, but reading through a book ('The Rise of the Novel' by I. Watt') I found such a good one that I couldnt resist the temptation of sharing it with all of you-

The development of the novel's concentrarion on private experience and personal relationships is associated with a series of paradoxes. It is paradoxical that the most powerful vicarious identification of readers with the feelings of fictional characters that litarature had seen should have been produced by exploiting the qualities of print, the most impersonal, objective and public of the media of communication. It is further paradoxical that the process of urbanisation should, in the suburb, have led to a way of life that was more secluded and less social than ever before, and, at the same time, helped to bring about a literary form which was less concerned with the public and more with the private side of life than any previous one. And finally, it is also paradoxical that these two tendencies should have combined to assist the most apparently realistic of literary genres to become capable of a more thorough subversion of psychological and social reality than any previous one.



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Comment by P.B. on January 27, 2009 at 6:30pm
Ah! Fantastic insight. I really wish you'd post that on HW. If you don't remember the way or lost the key just email me. :D Thanks very much, my friend!
Comment by rspwan on January 28, 2009 at 12:19pm

"identification of readers with the feelings of fictional characters"
"literary form which was less concerned with the public and more with the private side of life"
"thorough subversion of psychological and social reality"

What does this subversion of psychological and social reality consist of, how does is manifest itself?
Comment by P.B. on January 28, 2009 at 7:35pm
To me, that's a fancy way of saying that people began to think that the lifestyle, morals, values, intimate scenes, and behavior of these characters was a sort of standard to follow, a role model perhaps. They began to adopt the attitude of fictional characters, language, and even tried to mimic the psychological profiles in some cases. I remember stories about women adopting a split personality after the success of The Three Faces of Eve for instance. The condition began to be over diagnosed supposedly because of that book.
Comment by Tuak on February 3, 2009 at 5:28pm
Sorry, guys, I'm with my exams so...

The quote is from a literary critic especialised in the rise of the novel during the eighteen century, which he directly links with the new trading class and a new conception of individuality and capitalism values that rise during that period and eventually had a direct effect on the production of alternative literary 'genres'.
The novel, so to say. He thinks the rise of journalism, the ongrowing urban population (which implies that physical closeness does not necessary entails mental or affective proximity) were as well other causes of the rise. As for the ongrowing urban population, the invention of locks in the (in-)doors , etc, proves that there is a new interst on what private life means.
The journalism activity makes people more aware of their own 'capacity' to identify themselfs with the written word, and that, plus a lot of other factors I cant remember right night, led to the rise of the novel genre.

(those are, of course, some 'thoughts' on the book, maybe not directly related to the quote)

You can publish it on HW, PB, I dont hang around much :(

thanks for the replies!


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