Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

An encyclopedic work on the history of the novel

Steven Moore, among other things a William Gaddis scholar, has a new book out. Its title is: The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600-1800 (Bloomsbury). It’s the second volume in his re-evaluation and overturning of when we had thought the novel began, and what novels are.  (Volume one is titled: The Novel: An Alternative History, Beginnings to 1600.)

Earlier this week the print/online journal Music & Literature put up my review of the second volume. My review of the first volume appeared in the online journal The Quarterly Conversation

Anyone interested in the history of the novel, from all parts of the world, and from very ancient times, would love these books. They total about 1,800 pages, the prose is not in any kind of difficult academese, and the things one can learn are significant. Well worth adding to your library, or getting your favourite library to order in.

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