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Suggested Secondary Reading

Fabrica del mondo

These suggestions are no more than that, and also no more than a starting point. Different students have different needs and the essence of literary study is personal exploration – of the catalogue and shelves of the library, and of online resources such as LION, JSTOR and MUSE, available through the library website. You are also reminded of the bibliographic information supplied in lecture handouts. Be aware that academic study changes with times, trends and movements. A few of the texts below are more than thirty years old. This I point out not to reduce their potential contemporary relevance, nor their usefulness to understanding and enhancing your reading of novels, but to make you aware of their vintage when they present specific - sometimes historically specific - arguments and points.

Basic Reading List

1. General

Robert Alter, Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre (1975)

Erich Auerbach, Mimesis (1946)

Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination (1981)

- Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1984)

Roland Barthes, A Barthes Reader, ed. by Susan Sontag (1982)

- Writing Degree Zero (1967)

George Becker ed., Documents of Modern Literary Realism (1963)

Michael Bell, The Sentiment of Reality (1983)

Wayne Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction (1983)

Richard Bradford, The Novel Now: Contemporary British Fiction (2007)

André Brink, The Novel: Language and Narrative from Cervantes to Calvino (1998)

Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot (1984)

J. A. V. Chapple, Science and Literature in the Nineteenth Century (1986)

Javier Cercas, The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Novel (2018)

Nicholas Dames. “Theories of the Novel.” The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 6: The Nineteenth Century. Ed. M. A. R. Habib. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. 506-523.

Margaret Anne Doody, The True Story of the Novel (1996)

Elizabeth Deeds Ermath, Realism and Consensus in the English Novel (1983, 1998)

Jeremy Hawthorne, Studying the Novel: An Introduction (1985)

Andrew Hammond, Ed. The Novel and Europe (2016)

Wolfgang Iser, The Implied Reader (1974)

Henry James, The House of Fiction, Ed., Leon Edel (1957)

Arnold Kettle, The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Critical Essays and Documents (1972, 1985)

Milan Kundera, The Art of the Novel (1986)

R. Langbaum, The Modern Spirit: Essays on the Continuity of 19th and 20th Century Literature (1970)

F. R. Leavis, The Great Tradition (1948)

Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel (1962)

- Studies in European Realism (1950)

- The Theory of the Novel (1971)

Jenny Mander, Remapping the Rise of the European Novel (2007)

Guido Mazzoni, Theory of the Novel (2017)

Franco Moretti, (ed) The Novel (2 Vols) (2006)

- An Atlas of the European novel, 1800-1900 (1998)

- The Way of the World: the Bildungsroman in European Culture (1987)

Christopher Nash, World-games: the tradition of anti-realist revolt (1987)

Bill Overton, The novel of female adultery : love and gender in continental European fiction, 1830-1900 (1996)

Roy Pascal, The Dual Voice: Free Indirect Speech and its Functioning in the Nineteenth Century Novel (1977)

Stephen Regan, ed., The Nineteenth-Century Novel: A Critical Reader (2001)

John Richetti (ed), The Cambridge companion to the eighteenth-century novel (1996)

John Rignall, Realist fiction and the strolling spectator (1982)

Delia da Sousa Correa, The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Realisms (2000)

Jane Spencer, The Rise of the Woman Novelist from Aphra Behn to Jane Austen (1986)

J. P. Stern, On Realism (1973)

Raymond Tallis, In Defence of Realism (1988)

Martin Travers, An Introduction to Modern European Literature: From Romanticism to Postmodernism (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998)

Ann Jessie Van Sant (ed), Eighteenth-century sensibility and the novel : the senses in social context (1993)

Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel (1957)

Dennis Walder, ed., The Nineteenth-Century Novel: Identities (2001)

Paul Wood, Art in Theory 1648-1815: An anthology of changing ideas (2000)

Art in Theory 1815-1900: An anthology of changing ideas (1997)

2. nation

Victorian/English Novel

Amanda Anderson, Tainted Souls and Painted Faces: The Rhetoric of Falleness in Victorian Culture (1993)

Deirdre David, The Cambridge companion to the Victorian novel (2001)

Terry Eagleton, The English Novel:an introduction (2005)

J. M. Guy, The Victorian Social-Problem Novel (1996)

Patricia Ingham, The language of gender and class: transformation in the Victorian novel (1996)

P. K. Garrett, The Victorian Multiplot Novel (1980)

Robin Gilmour, The Victorian Period: the Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature (1993)

Francis O'Gorman, A Concise Companion to the Victorian Novel (2005)

John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (1988)

Raymond Williams, The English Novel from Dickens to Lawrence (1970)

French Literature: General

David F. Bell, Real time: accelerating narrative from Balzac to Zola (2004)

David Coward, A history of French literature : from Chanson de geste to the cinema (2002)

Jennifer Birkett, Guide to French Literature (1997)

Allan H. Pasco, Novel configurations: a study of French fiction : Stendhal, Balzac, Zola, Gide, Huysmans, Proust, Robbe-Grillet, Saporta, (1987)

Sandy Petrey, Realism and revolution : Balzac, Stendhal, Zola, and the performances of history (1988)

James H. Reid, Narration and description in the French realist novel : the temporality of lying and forgetting (1993)

Timothy Unwin, The Cambridge Companion to the French Novel: from 1800 to the present (1997)

German Literature: General

Benjamin Bennett, Beyond theory : eighteenth-century German literature and the poetics of irony (1993)

Henry B. Garland, ed. The Oxford companion to German literature (1986)

David Hill (ed), Literature of the Sturm und Drang (2003)

Dennis Mahoney (ed), The Literature of German Romanticism (2003)

E. L. Stahl, German literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (1970)

Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, The Cambridge History of German Literature (2000)

Russian Literature: General

Alexander Boyd, Aspects of the Russian novel (1972)

Neil Cornwell, The Routledge companion to Russian literature (2001)

Richard Freeborn, The Russian revolutionary novel : Turgenev to Pasternak (1982)

John Garrard, The Russian novel from Pushkin to Pasternak (1983)

Wendy S. Jacobson, Dickens and the Children of Empire (2000)

Malcolm V. Jones and Robin Feuer Miller, The Cambridge companion to the classic Russian novel (1998)

C. A. Moser, The Cambridge History of Russian Literature (1989)

Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian Literature (1982)

Victor Terras, A History of Russian Literature (1994)

Victor Terras, Handbook of Russian literature (1985)

Scandinavian Literature - General

Arnold Weinstein, Northern Arts: the breakthrough of Scandinavian literature and art, from Ibsen to Bergman (2008)

Schoolfield, George C., 'The Scandinavian Novel', in Schellinger, Paul (ed.); Hudson, Christopher; Rijsberman, Marijke (asst eds), Encyclopedia of the Novel. Either Access at LION: or: download word file: (Word Document)

Scandinavian Studies Journal - online content available via library and LION

3. individual authors/texts

Some of these works are relevant to more than one of the set texts. Where this is the case, they are listed the first time they are likely to be useful. There are of course many other general and specific studies on authors, genres, and periods, which you can track down. Use the bibliographies of these secondary texts, and don’t underestimate the power of the keyword search function! Or even going to the library and perusing the shelves. There is an array of electronic resources, sites like JSTOR, Project Muse and LION. Navigate through the library's electronic resources webpage.

Goethe and Werther

Stuart Atkins, Essays on Goethe (1995)

Michael Bell, The Sentiment of Reality: Truth and Feeling in the European Novel (1983), ch. 5

Eric A. Blackall, Goethe and the Novel (1978)

Marilyn Butler, Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries: English Literature and its Background 1760-1830 (1981)

John Mullan, Sentiment and Sociability: The Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century (1988)

Hans Reiss, Goethe's Novels (1969)

Lesley Sharpe (ed.), The Cambridge companion to Goethe (2002)

Martin Swales, Goethe, ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ (Landmarks in World Literature, 1987)

Martin Swales, Reading Goethe: a critical introduction to the literary work (2002)

Flaubert and Madame Bovary

Pierre Bourdieu, The field of cultural production : essays on art and literature (1993)

Victor Brombert, The Novels of Flaubert (1966)

Jonathan Culler, Flaubert: the Uses of Uncertainty (1974)

Eric Gans, Madame Bovary: The End of Romance (1989)

Stephen Heath, Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary (1992)

Rosemary Lloyd, Madame Bovary (1990)

Mary Orr, Flaubert : writing the masculine (2000)

Laurence Porter, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary : a reference guide (2002)

Alan Raitt, The originality of Madame Bovary (2002)

Francis Steegmuller, Flaubert & "Madame Bovary”: a double portrait (1993)

David Roe, Gustave Flaubert, (1989)

Tony Tanner, Adultery in the Novel: Contract and Transgression (1979)

Tony Williams and Mary Orr (eds), New approaches in Flaubert studies (1999)

Jane Austen and Emma

Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster, Eds. The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (1997)

Suzanne Juhasz. “Reading Austen Writing Emma”. Persuasions 21.1 (2000)

Fiona Stafford, Ed. Jane Austen’s Emma: A Casebook (2007)

Paula Byrne, Ed. Jane Austen’s Emma: A Sourcebook (2004)

Dostoevsky and Crime and Punishment

M.M. Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1984)

Harold Bloom (ed), Twentieth century views: Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and punishment (1988)

Malcolm Bradbury, The Modern World: Ten Great Writers (1988)

Peter Conradi, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1988)

Donald Fanger, Dostoevsky and romantic realism : a study of Dostoevsky in relation to Balzac, Dickens, and Gogol (1998)

Joseph Frank, Joseph, Dostoevsky [Vol.4], The miraculous years, 1865-71, (1995)

Robin Feuer Miller (ed), Critical essays on Dostoevsky (1986)

M. Jones and G. Terry, ed., New Essays on Dostoevsky (1983)

Robert Louis Jackson, Dostoevsky: new perspectives (1984)

Selected critical interpretations of Dostoyevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment " (1974)

- Twentieth century interpretations of 'Crime and punishment’: a collection of critical essays

Tolstoy and Anna Karenina

Gary Adelman, Anna Karenina: the bitterness of ecstasy (1990)

Judith Armstrong, The unsaid Anna Karenina (1988)

John Bayley, Tolstoy and the Novel (1966)

Mary Evans, Reflecting on Anna Karenina (1989)

Henry Gifford, Leo Tolstoy: a critical anthology (1971)

George Steiner, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky (1967)

Anthony Thorlby, Leo Tolstoy: ‘Anna Karenina’ (Landmarks in World Literature, 1987)

Zola and Germinal

David Baguley. “Germinal: the gathering storm”. The Cambridge Companion to Zola. Ed. Brian Nelson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 137-151. Chapter DOI:

Eduardo A. Febles, Explosive Narratives: Terrorism and Anarchy in the Works of Emile Zola (2010)

F. W. J. Hemmings, Emile Zola (1966)

William Gallois, Zola : the history of capitalism (2000)

Robert Lethbridge and Terry Keefe (eds), Zola and the craft of fiction (1990)

Henri Mitterand, Emile Zola: fiction and modernity (2000)

Brian Nelson (ed), Naturalism in the European novel: new critical perspectives (1992)

Colin Smethurst, Emile Zola: Germinal, (1996)

Philip Walker, Zola (1985)

Angus Wilson, Emile Zola: An Introductory Study of his Novels (1964)

Richard H. Zakarian, Zola's "Germinal": a critical study of its primary sources (1972)

See also specific chapters in Delia De Sousa Correa, The Nineteenth Century Novel: Realisms (2000) and The Nineteenth Century Novel: A Critical Reader, Stephen Regan (ed) (2000)

Franz Kafka and The Trial

Julian Preece, Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Kafka (2002)

Sander L. Gilman. Franz Kafka (2005)

Stanley Corngold. Lambent Traces: Franz Kafka (2006)

Carolin Duttlinger. The Cambridge Introduction to Franz Kafka (2013)

Virginia Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway

Jane Goldman. The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf (2006)

Anne E. Fernald. Virginia Woolf: Feminism and the Reader (2006)

Susan Sellers, Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf (2010)

Judith Allen. Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Language (2012)

Julia Briggs. Reading Virginia Woolf (2012)

Jane Goldman. Virginia Woolf in Context (2012)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and The Leopard

Peter Bondanella and Andrea Ciccarelli (eds), The Cambridge Companion to the Italian Novel (Cambridge: CUP, 2003) (Ch9 on Lampedusa.

Cristina Della Colletta, Plotting the Past:metamorphoses of historical narrative in modern Italian fiction (Indiana, PUP, 1996)

John Fletcher, New Directions in Literature: critical approaches to a contemporary phenomenon (1969)

David Gilmour, The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa (London: Harvill, 1996)

Richard H.Lansing, The Structure of Meaning in Lampedusa’s Il Gattopardo, PMLA 93:3, 1978 (409-422)

Nelson Moe, The View from Vesuvius (Berkeley, LA and London: University of California Press, 2002)

Richard O'Mara, 'The Leopard Reconsidered' in Sewanee Review, Vol 116, Number 4, Fall 2008, pp. 637-644

Sergio Pacifici (ed), - From Verisimo to Experimentalism: essays on the modern Italian Novel (Bloomington: Indiana, 1969)

- The Modern Italian Novel from Capuana to Tozzi (Feffer and Simons: Southern Illinois UP, 1973)

Mark Pietralunga, 'The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa', in Schellinger, Paul (ed.); Hudson, Christopher; Rijsberman, Marijke (asst eds), Encyclopedia of the Novel, (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1998. 2 vols)

Olga Ragusa, 'Stendhal, Tomasi di Lampedusa, and the Novel', Comparative Literature Studies 3 (1973)

Eduardo Saccone, ‘Nobility and Literature: Questions on Tomasi di Lampedusa, MLN 106 (1991), 159-178

Olivia Santovetti, Digression: a narrative strategy in the Italian Novel (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007)

Jane Schneider (ed), Italy’s “Southern Question”: Orientalism in one country (Berg: Oxford and New York, 1998)

Assia Djebar and Algerian White

Priscilla Ringrose. Assia Djebar: In Dialogue with Feminisms (2006)

Jenny Murray. Remembering the (post)colonial self: memory and identity in the novels of Assia Djebar (2008)

Peter Hitchcock. The Long Space: Transnationalism and Postcolonial Form (2010)

Lídia Jorge, The Murmuring Coast

Lídia Jorge: In Other Words. Special Issue of Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies 2, 1999. Accessible at:

Sousa, Ronald W. 'The Critique of History in Lídia Jorge's A Costa dos Murmúrios, or Helen of Beira Meets Luís of Troy'. Cincinnati Review 16(1997): 135-143.

Kaufman, Helena. 'Reclaiming the Margins of History in Lídia Jorge's A Costa dos Murmúrios'. Luso-Brazilian Review 29.1 (1992): 41-49.

Faulkner, Sally and Ana Martins. 'Intermedial Dialogue in A Costa dos Murmúrios / The Murmuring Coast (Lídia Jorge 1988 / Margarida Cardoso, 2004): Novel, Photography, Film'. Journal of Romance Studies 16.2 (2016): 36-57.

Martins, Adriana. 'Imperial Scars: Colonialism and Trauma in Lídia Jorge's The Murmuring Coast and J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians'. In Memory, Haunting, Discourse. Eds. Maria Holmgren Troy and Elisabeth Wennö. Karlstad: Karlstad University Press, 2005. 265-274.

Medeiros, Paulo de. 'Hauntings: Memory, Fiction, and the Portuguese Colonial Wars'. In Commemorating War: The Politics of Memory. Eds. Timothy G. Ashplant, Graham Dawson, Michael Roper. London: Routledge, 2000, 201-221.

Medeiros, Paulo de. 'Haunted Houses'. Journal x: A Journal in Culture and Criticism 6.2 (2002): 163-176.

Moutinho, Isabel. The Colonial Wars in Contemporary Portuguese Fiction. London: Tamesis, 2008.

For context:

Lobo Antunes and Anderson Tepper. "Antonio Lobo Antunes on "The land at the End of the World". The Paris Review. 26 July 2011. (PDF Document)

Madureira, Luis. "The Discreet Seductiveness of the Crumbling Empire -- Sex, Violence and Colonialism in the Fiction of António Lobo Antunes". Luso-Brazilian Review 32.1 (1995): 17-30.

Rother, Larry. "On a Fool's Mission in a Dying Colonial World". The New York Times. 29 June 2011. (PDF Document)

Soares, Anthony. "The Violent Maintenance of the Portuguese Colonial Identity and the Search for a Postcolonial One: Literary Images of Portugal as a Colonial and Postcolonial Nation". Ellipsis: Journal of the American Portuguese Studies Association. 4 (2006): 79-97. Also accessible at (PDF Document)

W. G. Sebald and Austerlitz

Anne Whitehead and J. J. Long, Eds. W. G. Sebald: A Critical Companion (2004)

Anne Fuchs and J. J. Long, Eds. W. G. Sebald and the Writing of History (2007)

Cosgrove, Mary. 'W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz'. In The Novel in German since 1990 (2011), 195-210.

Sabine Wilke, ed. From Kafka to Sebald: Modernism and Narrative Form (2012)

J. J. Long. W. G. Sebald: Image Archive Modernity (2012)

Jeanette Baxter et al, Eds. A Literature of Restitution: Critical Essays on W. G. Sebald (2013)

Olga Tokarczuk, Flights

Tobias Grey, 'Olga Tokarczuk’s Book ‘Flights’ Is Taking Off'. The New York Times, 9 August 2018 (

Seamus Deane and Reading in the Dark

Liam Harte. 'Shadows in the Air: Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark (1996)'. in Reading the Contemporary Irish Novel 1987 - 2007. pp. 173 - 196 (2014).

Maurice Fitzpatrick and Seamus Deane, 'An Interview with Seamus Deane'. Journal of Irish Studies, Vol. 22 (2007), pp. 84-92.

Troubles Archive:

Javier Marías and Thus Bad Begins

David T. Gies, ed., The Cambridge History of Spanish Literature (2004)

Helen Graham and Jo Labanyi, eds., Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction (1995)

Alexis Grohmann, Coming Into One's Own: The Novelistic Development of Javier Marías (2002)

Alexis Grohman and Caragh Wells, eds., Digressions in European Literature from Cervantes to Sebald (2011)

David K. Herzberger, ed., A Companion to Javier Marías (2011)

Jo Labanyi, 'History and Hauntology; or What Does One Do with the Ghosts of the Past? Reflections on Spanish Film and Fiction of the Post-Franco Period', In Joan Ramón Resina, ed., Disremembering the Dictatorship: The Politics of Memory in the Spanish Transition to Democracy (2000), 65-82

Jo Labanyi, Spanish Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2010)

Diana Evans, Ordinary People

Katy Waldman, 'In “Ordinary People,” Diana Evans Blends Domesticity and Celebrity, with a Gothic Twist'. The New Yorker, 24 September 2018 (

Sally Rooney, Normal People

Lauren Collins, 'Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head'. The New Yorker, 31 December, 2018 (

Lucy Mangan. Review of BBC series adoption. Observer. 26 April 2020.

Ella Cory-Wright. 'Conversations with Friends'. The Fence. 2 March 2020.

Cody Delistraty. 'Sally Rooney's Politics of Millenial Resignation' The Vulture. 11 April 2019.

Anna Leszkiewicz. 'Sally Rooney on sex, power and the art of being normal'. New Statesman. 12 September 2018.


Last updated 29042020