Berkeley Book Chats
In a study based on the systematic sampling of nearly 2,000 French and English novels written between 1601 and 1830, Nicholas Paige (French Department) asks how, precisely, the novel evolved. Instead of simply “rising” (as scholars have traditionally described its appearance as a genre), the novel is, in Paige’s view, a system in constant flux, made up of artifacts — formally distinct novel types — that themselves rise, only to inevitably fall.
Looking not at individual works but at the novel as a patterned system, Technologies of the Novel (Cambridge, 2020) presents a new way of understanding the history and evolution of art forms.
Paige is joined by Dorothy Hale (English).