Judith Newman Special Commissioned Essay on The Lying Days by Nadine Gordimer The Lying Days As Studied

The Lying Days As Studied

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)


Works that are also examples of the bildungsroman, or novel of formation, genre are many and varied. Since its origin in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1795), it has tended to emphasize the interplay of psychological and social forces. The genre embodies ideas of organic growth and originates in the period of the European Enlightenment, with its beliefs in human perfectibility and progress, individual growth and achievement, and social integration. The goal of Wilhelm Meister, for example, is to develop and realize all the physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and moral capacities inherent in his personality. Conflicts...

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