The idea that a young person can become adept in the art of life by passing through definite stages, until at last he becomes a master, lives at the core of the apprenticeship novel. Recognized among German critics as the «Bildungsroman», this type of novel has yet to be adequately defined on a grand scale for the English reader despite nearly two centuries of its development. In an attempt to describe the apprenticeship novel as a modifiable type in Western literature, Mr. Shaffner combines a theoretical stance with analyses of three concrete examples drawn from over a hundred potential candidates.
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Nancy, 1984. 178 pp.
Contents: Origin of the Term - Concept of the Type - Fundamental Principles - Concrete Representatives - Wilhelm Meister's
Apprenticeship - Of Human Bondage - The Magic Mountain - The Complete Apprenticeship.