Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Novel
(3,815 words)

1. Terminology

The essential characteristic of the novel is its polymorphism. The genre is constituted by hybridity and heterogeneity, so that any definition must necessarily be confined to a few very general qualities: narrative literature on a larger scale, comprising a fictional plot usually in multiple strands. The imprecision of definition is often resolved by the addition of qualifiers (e.g. historical novel, social novel). One particularly striking feature of thi…

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Butzer, Günter and Günter, Manuela, “Novel”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 15 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_026785>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128



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