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Changing Ideas, Changing Texts

First-Person Novels in the Early Modern Period – «Francion, Courasche» and «Moll Flanders»


Reinhard Uhrig

This book is an attempt to reread the Rise of the Novel so as to attach proper importance to the seventeenth century. Changes in first-person narration, methods of characterisation, and the role of metatext are explored in relation to changes in the understanding of literature, the individual and the purpose of narration. These changes in ideas are reflected in changes in narrative technique, but the novels and other narrative texts also contribute to a shift in perception. Narratological analysis is thus contextualised with reference to other contemporary discourses: the novels are placed in the wider perspective of early modern culture, and attention is paid to how the novel agglutinated into being, rather than appearing out of nowhere at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
Contents: Histories of the History of the Novel – The Instability of Early Modern Text – First-Person Narration and Time – Characterisation, Temperament and the Circulation of the Blood – Morality and Metatext.