Marianne Hirsch (essay date 1975)
SOURCE: Hirsch, Marianne. “The Novel of Formation as Genre: Between Great Expectations and Lost Illusions.” Genre 12, no. 3 (fall 1979): 293-311.
[In the following essay, first delivered as a lecture in 1975, Hirsch considers the Bildungsroman a European literary genre rather than a strictly German one, and outlines the differences between German Bildungsromane and those of France and England.]
If the Bildungsroman has been considered a primarily German genre, it has been for reasons that are extra-literary in nature. The Bildungsroman expresses, theorists starting with Wilhelm Dilthey have argued, the individualism and interest in self-cultivation...
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