The Novel: where have we been, where are we going?

Jonathan Leaf has some interesting Notes on the Novel over at the New Partisan. Leaf charts the emergence of major novelists by decade and then offers thoughts on what this means:

Most writers have a very conscious sense of being part of a particular generation. This is not to deny that some writers, whether because they are long-lived or because they have started their careers early or late, may be associated with a generation or generations other than that which corresponds to their birthdates. I have, however, attempted to make a list of a great number of the most important novelists in our language, listing them by the decade with when they first made their “splash”. Beneath the list I’ve presented a few possible inferences which might be drawn about why certain periods appear richer and certain others leaner.

He does this for English, French, German, and Russian novels and offers some interesting thoughts. He ends by offering that so called genre works are underrated and unappreciated. Worth a read.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).