The Novel

Anthony J. Cascardi

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780195182637
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 The Novel

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This article considers the history of the novel and its relation to philosophy. It suggests that though disagreements about the generic identity and historical origins of the novel may be unresolvable, they nonetheless register something important for an understanding of its relationship of this genre to philosophy. It argues that while novels may well concentrate on the reality of experience in the present, they are built around the realization that all experience is historically formed and that our consciousness of experience is inseparable from the forms through which it is told. It discusses several philosophers' thoughts about the novel including René Descartes, György Lukács and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Keywords: novel; philosophy; literary genre; René Descartes; György Lukács; Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Article.  9505 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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