Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

The Novel's Mobile Home

The Novel's Mobile Home Theories of the novel have made us comfortable with the idea of the novel's trademark heteroglossia and dynamism. We accept that the novel, according to Bakhtin, "best of all reflects the tendencies of a new world still in the making" and that, according to Franco Moretti, this results in an "intrinsically contradictory" form shaped by both "dynamism and limits." Yet theories of the novel have traditionally ignored the implications of its history of serial publication. We tend to see the form of the Victorian novel as a coherent whole that begins with the hero as a child and ends with "Reader, I married him." We regard "discontinuous continuity" as a "cornerstone of twentieth-century art" (Keith Cohen). In the larger project from which this essay is drawn, I argue that the Victorian periodical is a technology of public space in much the same way as we view the railroad, the steamship, the Crystal Palace or the telegraph—things that simultaneously cut up and connect the modern world. Discontinuous continuity is the formal logic of the serialized Victorian novel; if we miss this, we overlook a key aspect of how novels help produce nations. This particular essay begins with the larger conversation about the novel's relationship to mobility and temporality and then uses Dickens's work as an editor, writer, and national architect to argue that he uses the seemingly fixed idea of "home"—a core theme of all Victorian novels—to create both the novel and the nation as structures through which, paradoxically, to imagine motion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Novel: A Forum on Fiction Duke University Press

The Novel's Mobile Home

Novel: A Forum on Fiction , Volume 43 (1) – Mar 1, 2010

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/the-novel-s-mobile-home-QYR01CbW6F
Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2010 by Novel, Inc.
ISSN
0029-5132
eISSN
1945-8509
DOI
10.1215/00295132-2009-065
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Theories of the novel have made us comfortable with the idea of the novel's trademark heteroglossia and dynamism. We accept that the novel, according to Bakhtin, "best of all reflects the tendencies of a new world still in the making" and that, according to Franco Moretti, this results in an "intrinsically contradictory" form shaped by both "dynamism and limits." Yet theories of the novel have traditionally ignored the implications of its history of serial publication. We tend to see the form of the Victorian novel as a coherent whole that begins with the hero as a child and ends with "Reader, I married him." We regard "discontinuous continuity" as a "cornerstone of twentieth-century art" (Keith Cohen). In the larger project from which this essay is drawn, I argue that the Victorian periodical is a technology of public space in much the same way as we view the railroad, the steamship, the Crystal Palace or the telegraph—things that simultaneously cut up and connect the modern world. Discontinuous continuity is the formal logic of the serialized Victorian novel; if we miss this, we overlook a key aspect of how novels help produce nations. This particular essay begins with the larger conversation about the novel's relationship to mobility and temporality and then uses Dickens's work as an editor, writer, and national architect to argue that he uses the seemingly fixed idea of "home"—a core theme of all Victorian novels—to create both the novel and the nation as structures through which, paradoxically, to imagine motion.

Journal

Novel: A Forum on FictionDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2010

There are no references for this article.