Introduction: The drift of fiction

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Drawing the trajectory from Ian Watt to critics like Michael McKeon, Nancy Armstrong, Catherine Gallagher, Deidre Lynch, and Franco Moretti, the Introduction to this special issue of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation engages the ongoing conversation about the novel-an entity that remains provisional, openended, and far from monolithic. This special issue gives us a new picture of the eighteenth-century novel not so much as a unified body, but as self-conscious permutations of fiction that drift rather than march into mixed forms of realism. For this reason, fiction-with its meaning rooted in fashioning, framing, and inventing-is a more apt term for the elastic imaginative prose narratives of eighteenth-century England than novel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalEighteenth Century
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • General Arts and Humanities


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