This book aims to be a comprehensive and demanding critique of 18th-century English and French fiction. Rereading works from this period, William Ray offers a systematic exploration of how individual instances of the literary ordering of experience relate to larger public and political orders of authority. He argues that the novel's rise coincided with a growing conviction, both reflected and fostered in the period, that selfhood, social identity, public authority and even historical truth all hinge on narrative representation.;From the early novels of individualism which emphasize the relating of personal experience as a means of altering social hierarchies and securing priviledges for the exceptional individual to the later "metanovels", whose complex dialectical models of history both invite and exclude the manipulation of the shared record, this book traces not only the relationship of individual story to collective history, but also fiction's evolving grasp of its own cultural authority.
Story and History Narrative Authority and Social Identity in the Eighteenth-Century French and English Novel
Hardback (17 May 1990)
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