Skip to main content Skip to navigation

EN2B0/EN3B0 The European Novel

Not available in 2021-2022

2019-2020: Updated information can be found here


This is one of two Pathway Requirements for the World and Comparative Literature Pathway and one of the Distributional Requirements for the English Pathway. Can also be selected as an option under the remaining Pathways.


Lectures: Wednesday 12:00 - 1:00 (S0.11).

Seminars: Thursday 9:30 - 10:30 (H5.01), 4:00 - 5:00 (H5.43), 5:00 - 6:00 (H5.43).

Convenor: Paulo de Medeiros;

Office hours: T3 2019-20 T3 via e-mail : Tuesdays 16:00-17:00 and Wednesdays 11:00-12:00

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.

A note concerning editions: we don't usually prescribe specific editions for each novel, but it is advantageous to get a good scholarly copy. Oxford World’s Classics or Penguin 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!

2019-2020 syllabus:

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774)

Jane Austen, Emma (1815)

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (1857)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877)

Émile Zola, Germinal (1885)

Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958)

Lídia Jorge, The Murmuring Coast (1988)

Assia Djebar, Algerian White (1996)

Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark (1996)

W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001)

Olga Tokarczuk, Flights (2007)

Javier Marías, Thus Bad Begins (2016)

Diana Evans, Ordinary People (2018)

Sally Rooney, Normal People (2019)

For 2019-20 assessment will be as follows:

Year 2 students: 50/50: 1 x 3000 word essay due at the end of T2 and 1 x 2-hour exam centrally scheduled

Finalists: 40/40/20: 1X 4000-word essay due at the end of T2 + 1x 2-hour exam centrally scheduled + Group Video essay/podcast/individual blogpost (scheduled across the year).

For further information, see Module details