First novel  

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"It is ironic that Cervantes's Don Quixote is described as the first novel (an extended work of prose fiction, written in "vulgar Latin", i.e. the people's language), the first modern novel (and the first psychological novel) due to its focus on the psychological evolution of a single character (an antihero) as well as the first postmodern novel (due of its use of self-reflexivity in the second volume)." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

While most scholars agree that the novel emerged during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe, there are some who argue that the novel dates back to antiquity. These scholars argue that “personality" and the evolution of character is not at the center of the novel; rather the work requires only a set of individual characters to be considered a novel. They also place a heavy emphasis on the role of “eros” in the definition of the novel—novels are most often about “sentiment and erotic passion” in this theory.


History of and generic influences on the novel

Classical period

In ancient Greece and Rome, these are the earliest extant novels (some people would call them precursors of the novel):

Oriental works

From the Orient, there were important early novels, such as:

Medieval and Renaissance

Early medieval novels included:

In the Renaissance, there was an important European trend towards fantastic fiction :

The picaresque novel and the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605) are generally considered to be the origin of the modern European novel, characterized by realism. For example:

See also

First novel in English, novel
  • the article novel for detailed information about the history of the terms "novel" and "romance" and the bodies of texts they defined in a historical perspective.
  • debut novel

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "First novel" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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