The way of the world : the Bildungsroman in European culture / Franco Moretti ; translated by Albert Sbragia.

By: Moretti, Franco, 1950-Contributor(s): Sbragia, AlbertMaterial type: TextTextLanguage: English Original language: Italian Publisher: London ; New York : Verso, 2000Edition: New edDescription: xiii, 274 pages ; 24 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1859842984; 9781859842980Subject(s): Bildungsromans | Psychological fiction -- History and criticism | Fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism | Maturation (Psychology) in literature | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Heroes in literature | Bildungsromans | Fiction | Heroes in literature | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Maturation (Psychology) in literature | Psychological fiction | Historia | 1800-1899 | Fiction in European languages, 1800-1900. Bildungsromane - Critical studiesGenre/Form: Bildungsromans. | Criticism, interpretation, etc. | Bildungsromans.DDC classification: 809.39353 LOC classification: PN3448.B54 | M67 2000
Contents:
Preface: Twenty Years Later -- Introduction: The Bildungsroman as Symbolic Form -- The Comfort of Civilization -- The Ring of Life -- The Rhetoric of Happiness -- Anti-Robinson -- Aesthetic Education -- The Art of Living -- Personality -- Trial, Opportunity, Episode -- Conversation -- 'Inevitable evils' -- The Sociology of Prejudice -- Symbol and Interpretation -- Escape from Freedom -- Of Necessity, Virtue -- Waterloo Story -- Politics as Destiny? -- 'The uniform of my generation' -- Homo Clausus -- Bovarysm, Disavowal, Bad Faith -- The Age of Ideals -- 'That's the way of the world' -- Reality principle, realism, irony -- The Automaton's Rights -- 'A parody, perhaps ... ' -- Socialization Rejected -- 'A certain amount of impudence' -- Streben -- 'All ties cast off' -- Unhappy Ending -- Irony and Irrationality -- The Fall of Wisdom -- The Waterloo Paradox -- The World of Prose -- Parvenir -- In Fashion -- The Balzacian Narrator (I): 'Nothing is hidden from me' -- The Balzacian Narrator (II): 'At a time like this it would be a wonderful spectacle ... ' -- Capitalism and Narration -- Fifty Thousand Young Men. One Hundred Thousand Novels -- On the Genesis of Tolerance -- 'Narration' -- Balzac At His Very Worst -- The World of Prose -- Dialectics of Desire -- 'And in return, what do you hope to take?' -- Forever Young? -- The Conspiracy of the Innocents -- The Confinement of Youth -- The White and the Black -- Very Common Persons -- Anthropological Garden -- 'In this enlightened age ... ' -- The Devil's Party.
Review: "The Way of the World 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."--Jacket.
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"First published in English by Verso 1987"--Title page verso.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 246-271) and index.

"The Way of the World 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."--Jacket.

Preface: Twenty Years Later -- Introduction: The Bildungsroman as Symbolic Form -- The Comfort of Civilization -- The Ring of Life -- The Rhetoric of Happiness -- Anti-Robinson -- Aesthetic Education -- The Art of Living -- Personality -- Trial, Opportunity, Episode -- Conversation -- 'Inevitable evils' -- The Sociology of Prejudice -- Symbol and Interpretation -- Escape from Freedom -- Of Necessity, Virtue -- Waterloo Story -- Politics as Destiny? -- 'The uniform of my generation' -- Homo Clausus -- Bovarysm, Disavowal, Bad Faith -- The Age of Ideals -- 'That's the way of the world' -- Reality principle, realism, irony -- The Automaton's Rights -- 'A parody, perhaps ... ' -- Socialization Rejected -- 'A certain amount of impudence' -- Streben -- 'All ties cast off' -- Unhappy Ending -- Irony and Irrationality -- The Fall of Wisdom -- The Waterloo Paradox -- The World of Prose -- Parvenir -- In Fashion -- The Balzacian Narrator (I): 'Nothing is hidden from me' -- The Balzacian Narrator (II): 'At a time like this it would be a wonderful spectacle ... ' -- Capitalism and Narration -- Fifty Thousand Young Men. One Hundred Thousand Novels -- On the Genesis of Tolerance -- 'Narration' -- Balzac At His Very Worst -- The World of Prose -- Dialectics of Desire -- 'And in return, what do you hope to take?' -- Forever Young? -- The Conspiracy of the Innocents -- The Confinement of Youth -- The White and the Black -- Very Common Persons -- Anthropological Garden -- 'In this enlightened age ... ' -- The Devil's Party.

Translated from the Italian.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

As a cultural historian, Moretti is chiefly concerned with locating the sources of, and influences on, the 18th- and 19th-century European (German, French, and English) bildungsroman in the bourgeois culture of the time. Three influential historical phenomena-``the French Revolution, the Post-Napoleonic Restoration, and the apotheosis of capitalism in the metropolis''-disrupted generic continuity, causing authors like Flaubert, Balzac, Dickens, and George Eliot to have to ``begin each time all over again'' to create the genre anew. As the symbolic expression of its culture, the European bildungsroman exhibits variations on themes like mobility and interiority that reflect the efforts of Europe ``to attach a meaning ... to modernity.'' Moretti's poststructuralist method of discussing this genre without reference to any previous bildungsroman criticism (presumably with the intention of avoiding any privileging of others' views, especially of those liberal humanists with whom his Marxism clashes) may disconcert all but scholars already familiar with the work of critics like Franois Jost, David H. Miles, Martin Swales, Jerome Hamilton Buckley, and Marianne Hirsch. Those who know the previously definitive concepts revolving around youth, vocation, and marriage will fine Moretti's thesis and explanations provocative although difficult to follow because of his evocative and somewhat convoluted style. No scholar of the novel can afford to ignore this timely study. For graduate libraries.-B. Braendlin, Florida State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Franco Moretti teaches English at Stanford, where he directs the Center for the Study of the Novel.

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