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The German term (meaning ‘artist-novel’) for a novel in which the central character is an artist of any kind, e.g. the musical composer Leverkühn in Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (1947), or the painter Lantier in Zola's L'Oeuvre (1886). Although this category of fiction often overlaps with the Bildungsroman in showing the protagonist's development from childhood or adolescence—most famously in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)—it also includes studies of artists in middle or old age, and sometimes of historical persons: in David Malouf 's An Imaginary Life (1978), for example, the central character and narrator is the Roman poet Ovid (43 bce–17ce).

Subjects: Literature.

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