Jan 30, 1002
The Pillow Book by Sei ShōnagonWhere: Heian Japan.
Style: mono no aware (the Pathos of Things)
Themes: aesthetics, life at the palace
Motifs: okashi (lovely)
Details: poetry as a social code for creating hierarchy, narrator as a director, three types of paragraphs: journal-story, lists and aesthetic descriptions "Everything that cries in the night is wonderful. With the exception of babies."
Jan 30, 1177
Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart by Chrétien de TroyesOld French poem
the idea of courtly love
Themes/motifs: Chivalry, Mésure, or balance (between his Reason and his Love), Fidelity (Are Lancelot and Guinevere being unfaithful to Arthur, or are they being faithful to their own hearts?), the courtly woman, who is amorous without being overly licentious “Offenders were punished / By being set in the cart / And driven up and down / The town. Their reputations / were lost, and the right to be present / At court; they lost all honor"
Jan 30, 1304
Amadis de Gaula - de MontalvoSpain
chivalric romance persecuted by the wizard Arcalaús, protected by Urganda la Desconocida
Oriana becomes jealous - he changes his name to Beltenebros
later they scandalously consummate their love - son Esplandián a complete idealization and simplification of knight-errantry "Arrogant knight, full of villainy, now ye shall pay for the evil that ye did. Arm yourself at once. " — Amadis about to avenge a damsel who had been raped.
Jan 30, 1353
The Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioItaly
Frame story -100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa outside Florence to escape the Black Death
Themes/motifs: mercantile ethic, urban values of quick wit, sophistication, and intelligence, Lady Fortune, satirize the Church & religious allegory, numerological and mystical significance, naturalness of sex
Borrowed the plots of almost all his stories
Very popular among contemporaries, especially merchants
Don Quixote by Miguel de CervantesSpain
themes of the nature of reality, incompatibility of morality, class vs worth,
a satire of orthodoxy, veracity and even nationalism The First Part: Don Quixote & Sancho Panza go on to have chivalric adventures, the priest attempts to bring DQ home and cure his madness. The Second Part: Don Quixote continues his adventures, and Sampson Carrasco and the priest conspire to bring him home by vanquishing him. Yale
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DefoeUnited Kingdom
Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, travelogue
Adventure story; novel of isolation
themes · The ambivalence of mastery; the necessity of repentance; the importance of self-awareness
Shipwrecked alone, Crusoe struggles against hardship, privation, loneliness, and cannibals in his attempt to survive on a deserted island. Crusoe constructs a shelter, secures a food supply, and accepts his stay as the work of Providence.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan SwiftIreland
satire on human nature and the "travellers' tales"
themes ·Might versus right; the individual versus society; the limits of human understanding
Gulliver strives to understand the societies with which he comes into contact and to have them understand England. Below the surface, Swift is engaged in a conflict with the English society he is satirizing. Gulliver rejects human society in the fourth voyage, specifically when he shuns the generous Don Pedro as a vulgar Yahoo
Tom Jones by Henry FieldingEngland
comic novel, Bildungsroman and a picaresque novel
tone is constantly ironic
major conflict·Tom Jones and Sophia Western cannot marry, since Tom is believed to be a foundling bastard and Sophia's father wishes her to marry someone of her own gentile class.
themes · Virtue as action rather than thought, the impossibility of stereotypical categorization (fiction or gender), the tension between Art and Artifice (Fielding entices us to reflect on the process of construction)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence SterneUK
a humorous novel,
style is marked by digression, double entendre, and graphic devices
focus on the problems of language
unconventional time scheme
concerned with domestic upsets or misunderstandings, which find humour in the opposing temperaments of Walter—splenetic, rational, and somewhat sarcastic—and Uncle Toby, who is gentle, uncomplicated, and a lover of his fellow man
four comical mishaps which shaped the course of his life
The Sorrows of Young Werther by GoetheGermany
Sturm und Drang period - subjectivity & extremes of emotion
Themes: Class, Family, Happiness, the limits of language, subjectivity, suicide
Love interest: Charlotte, to be married to Albert "I am proud of my heart alone, it is the sole source of everything, all our strength, happiness and misery. All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own."
Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de LaclosFrench epistolary novel
amoral / story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals (and ex-lovers) who use seduction as a weapon (on Cécile, Madame de Tourvel)
depict the decadence of the French aristocracy shortly before the French Revolution "Whereas you, wielding skilfully the weapons of your sex, triumph by subtlety, I, rendering his imprescriptible rights to man, subjugated by authority."
Tiganiada by Ioan Budai DeleanuRomania
epic poem of the creation of a nation
critical towards political state, antifeudal, anti church,
the search for identity
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenUK
Comedy of manners
antagonist·Snobbish class-consciousness (epitomized by Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Miss Bingley)
themes ·Love; Reputation; Class
Bennet's relationships It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Oliver Twist by Charles DickensEngland
Children’s; detective, social novel
satirizes the hypocrisies of his time, child labour, recruitment of children as criminals, street children
major conflict·Although Oliver is fundamentally righteous, the social environment in which he is raised encourages thievery and prostitution. He struggles to find his identity and rise above the abject conditions of the lower class.
themes ·The failures of charity; the folly of individualism; purity in a corrupt city; the countryside idealized