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EN2B0/EN3B0 The European Novel

Convenor: Prof Paulo de Medeiros

For 2022-2023 assessment will be as follows:

Year 2 students: 50/50: 1 x 3000-word essay due at the start of Term 2 and 1 X 3000-word essay due at the start of Term 3.

Finalists: 40/40/20: 1X 4000-word essay due at the start of T2 + 1X 4000-word essay due at the start of T3 + 1+ Group Video essay/podcast/individual blogpost.

Exchange students:

Full-year students follow the same assessment as Year 2 students above.

Part-year students (here for one or two terms only) submit 1X 2000-word essay per term. Term 1 essay due week 12 (Term 1). Term 2 essay due week 12 (Term 2). Term 3 essay due week 7 (Term 3). Essays may be submitted earlier than these dates if needed.

The Moodle PagesLink opens in a new window have all updated information as it becomes available.


The European Novel module seeks to provide an understanding of the novel form through the comparative study of works of European long fiction from the late 18th to the 20th century. It aims to explore key moments in the European history and geography of the form and the range of narrative possibilities and thematic concerns these encompass, focusing in particular on connections and differences of period, culture and nation; on the nature of narrative and the formal techniques and devices of narration; and on the issues raised by theories of narrative, comparativism, and the idea of modernity.

Term 1

Weeks 1 and 2. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774)

Week 3. Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1857)

Week 4. Jane Austen, Emma (1815)

Week 5 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

week 6. Reading Week

Week 7. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Week 8. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)

Weeks 9 and 10. Émile Zola, Germinal (1885)

Term 2

Week 1. Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks (1901) ; in the translation by John E. Woods

Week 2. Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925)

Week 3. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Week 4. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958)

Week 5. Assia Djebar, Algerian White (1996)

Week 6. Reading Week

Week 7. Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark (1996)

Week 8. Javier Cercas, Soldiers of Salamis (2001)

Week 9. Dulce Maria Cardoso, The Return (2016)

Week 10. W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001)

A note concerning editions: we don't usually prescribe specific editions for each novel, but it is advantageous to get a good scholarly copy. Penguin Classics, Oxford World’s Classics or Norton Critical Editions will provide you with excellent introductions and informative notes that will aid your understanding and enrich your reading. They are only a little pricier than some of the cheaper versions around, which you should avoid.

Happy reading!