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roman-fleuve


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The French term for a novel sequence. The practice of pursuing a family story through a number of related novels in order to render a comprehensive account of a social period ultimately derives from Balzac and Zola, but it reached its culmination between 1900 and 1940 in the works of Romain Rolland (1866–1944), Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958), Georges Duhamel (1884–1966), and Jules Romains (1885–1972). Translations of these works have been popular in England, but the English version of the phenomenon, descending from Trollope and including such novelists as Galsworthy, C. P. Snow, and A. Powell, has not had the same consistency of purpose.

Subjects: Literature.


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