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Seventeenth Century Fiction: Text and Transmission
British Academy funded Research Network. There is no comprehensive history of early modern fiction to respond to the present popular interest in the novel. Until recently, most studies of the rise of the novel have taken a narrow approach, either starting their history only with the eighteenth century and/or working within the confines of a single national literature. Furthermore, scholars have adhered to a limited definition of the novelistic form, one that has emphasized ‘progress’ in the history of literature and associated the notion of realism with modernity. Seventeenth-Century Fiction: Text and Transmission brings together eighteen UK academics working in both the English and Continental (French, Spanish, Italian, Neo-Latin, Byzantine) traditions. The members of the group will meet in two workshops during the academic year to consider the social, cultural, and historical aspects of seventeenth-century prose fiction, with the intention of uncovering the roots of the transnational exchanges that led to the development of new forms of fiction. The project’s goal is to produce a volume of collected papers that will examine the changes in the conceptualization and usage of prose forms at a critical moment in the history of modern fiction, and thus to contribute to a more comprehensive history of the early novel.
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