Introduction (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
The emergence of the “modern” novel in the eighteenth century, with its emphasis on narrative realism and its intimate involvement with the affairs of everyday life, is correlated with a gradual separation between mundane and imaginative fiction, a crucial breaking of categories that was later to be represented by such distinctions as that between “realism” and “romance.” There have always been problems in defining the boundary that marks this categorical break, as there have always been problems in defining exactly what is meant by the term “novel,” but from the end of the eighteenth century onward writers and critics have been aware of some such fundamental distinction and convinced of its propriety.
(The entire section is 112 words.)
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