The Novel : Language and Narrative Form Cervantes to Calvino by Brink, Andre
University of Cape Town Press, 1998
Paperback, 376 pages
The postmodernist novel is renowned for the extremes of its narcissistic involvement with language, but in this book the author argues that this self-consciousness has been a characteristic of the novel since its earliest stirrings. More specifically, every novel appears both to construct, and to be constructed by, its own notion of language, elaborated through all the strategies of narrative. Besides the framing chapters on Cervantes's "Don Quixote" and Calvino's "If On a Winter's Night a Traveller", memorable chapters include: Daniel Defoe's "Moll Flanders", Jane Austen's "Emma", George Eliot's "Middlemarch" and Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice".