The Novel of Manners The American Novel Of Manners - Essay

The American Novel Of Manners

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

James W. Tuttleton

SOURCE: "The Sociological Matrix of the Novel of Manners," in The Novel of Manners in America, The University of North Carolina Press, 1972, pp. 7-19.

[In the excerpt below, Tuttleton recounts and refutes claims that the novel of manners is not a viable form in American literature.]

The charge that the novel is dead, so often heard in the literary criticism of the 1950s, is today a dead issue.

There is one type of novel, though, which is generally held to be deader than usual—especially in this country. And when, in our recent criticism, writers have reflected on the death of the American novel, they have...

(The entire section is 10678 words.)