What is a sentimental novel and who are its main authors?



It’s an 18th century literary genre which celebrates the emotional and intellectual concepts of sentiment, sentimentalism, and sensibility.

  • The romance, memories, letters, journals.

Along with a new vision of love, sentimentalism presented a new view of human nature which prized feeling over thinking, passion over reason, and personal instincts of “pity, tenderness, and benevolence” over social duties.

Authors:

 

  • DANIEL DEFOE – Robinson Crusoe (symbolical drama – going to sea is an act of rebellion)
  • SAMUEL RICHARDSON – the hero is usually preoccupied with his or her love and love sufferings. Pamela=letters
  • JONATHAN SWIFT – Gulliver’s Travels
  • HENRY FIELDING – first great comic novelist in England
  • LAURENCE STERNE:
  • – founding father of the 20th century stream-of-consciousness novel
  • – The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman:
  • o the greatest reflexive novel
  • o a parody of contemporary conventions of the novel as a genre
  • o its organization lies in the consciousness of the narrator
  • o digressions bring about a hundred topics all mixed together
  • o influenced by John Locke’s essay on human understanding – every man lives in a world of his own, is a prisoner of his private inner world, which is also his own creation OLIVER GOLDSMITH, THOBIAS SMOLLETT – ugly aspects of life; life is presented as it is; HENRY MACKENZIE; SARAH FIELDING.

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