Skip to main content

EN201 The European Novel


Lecture: Wednesday 12:00 - 1:00pm (SO.11)

Seminars: Monday 11:00 - 12:00pm, Monday 12:00 - 1:00pm, Monday 2:00 - 3:00pm

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.


Seminars begin on week 2

2018/19 - seminars (tba)

Lectures on Wednesday 12.00-1.00pm (venue tba)

Convenor: Paulo de Medeiros; office hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 11-12 (H526)

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!

2018-2019 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)

Knut Hamsun, Hunger (1890)

Franz Kafka, The Trial (1925)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958)

António Lobo Antunes, The Land at the End of the World (1979)

Assia Djebar, Algerian White (1996)

W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001)

Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark (1996)

Javier Marías, Thus Bad Begins (2016)