Article

Are “American Novels” Novels? <i>Mardi</i> and the Problem of Boring Books

Jordan Alexander Stein

in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730438
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199730438.013.0004

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Are “American Novels” Novels? Mardi and the Problem of Boring Books

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
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This article examines the American novel and the problem of boring books. It investigates what would happen if the assumption about the existence of novel as a literary genre were treated as a critical problem. The article analyzes Herman Melville's 1849 novel Mardi and a Voyage Thither to demonstrate that in order to make sense of “bad” novels, one might be well served to suspend the categories required for deductive conclusions.

Keywords: American novel; boring books; literary genre; critical problem; Herman Melville; Mardi; deductive conclusions

Article.  8089 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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