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Bad Form: Social Mistakes and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

Kent Puckett

Abstract

While everyone knows that the nineteenth-century novel is obsessed with gaffes, lapses, and blunders, who could have predicted that these would have so important a structural role to play in the novel and its rise? Who knew that the novel in fact relies on its characters’ mistakes for its structural coherence, for its authority, for its form? Drawing simultaneously on the terms of narrative theory, sociology, and psychoanalysis, this book examines the necessary relation between social and literary form in the nineteenth-century novel as it is expressed at the site of the represented social mis ... More

Keywords: social mistakes, narrative theory, nineteenth-century novel, narrative omniscience, Honore de Balzac, William Makepeace Thackeray, Gustave Flaubert, George Eliot, Henry James, Jean Renoir

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195332759
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195332759.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kent Puckett, author
University of California