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"The English Novel"


A series of lectures about the evolution of the English novel, including a bit about its major authors' lives.

Very interesting, although many things were kind of obvious for me as an English/lit major.
Made me want to read more Virginia Woolf. And D.H. Lawrence and definitely Tristam Shandy. I had to skip the Austen bits for fear of spoilers but I'll definitely get back to it when I read the rest of her work. It made me reconsider Joyce as a someone I might someday read (I *think* I once read part of the Dublineers and was bored stiff), especially Portrait of The Artist as a young man, which, to be honest, I was eyeing anyway because it has the best title ever, but not just that.

I was also very interested in the concept of the comedic plot.

From minute 18, lecture 16: Comedic world: a logical place where good is rewarded, bad punish.  Nature is balanced. A tragic world leaves us in doubt. Also, in a comedic world everybody will get married at the end. The status quo will be mantained. And how at one point English novelists realised that it was hindering progress, that they weren't telling the stories of all the people that were not happy with how things were (women, working class, etc). Tragic plots, oth, end with unjustice, with a world that is not evil in intent but, even worse, indifferent, whatever we do has no effect in our future. A terrifying concept even nowadays for people who keep trying to create something out of chaos, give life some structure, give ourselves some measure of control.

I liked that it ended up with modern living writers, there's some people there I really want to check out, as well.

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April 2014

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