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By R.V. Young

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Extra info for A Student's Guide to Literature (ISI Guides to the Major Disciplines)

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Whether Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter should be classified as novels or gothic romances, they are both books that should not be missed. In France the three great nineteenth-century novelists are Victor Hugo, especially for Les Misérables, Honoré de Balzac, especially for Père Goriot, and Gustave Flaubert, especially for Madame Bovarie. But it may be Russia that has the strongest claim to have produced the greatest novels of all time in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and War and Peace, Fyodor 40 A Student’s Guide to Literature Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov, and Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons.

Young paradoxes of literature that one language can be served so well by bending it to the imperatives of another. 16). What Milton does with the thematic substance of epic is another paradox. Paradise Lost is, indisputably, a great epic poem of classical style and heroic scale, and yet it not only is the last epic; it may also be said to have finished off the epic. The epic catalogues are mostly lists of fallen angels; the character who is most consistently heroic in word and action and attitude is Satan.

34 A Student’s Guide to Literature in prose, which reflects the mischievous, satirical side of humanist learning also seen in Desiderius Erasmus’s Praise of Folly and Thomas More’s Utopia. Drama is the most social or communal art, because the individual dramatist is altogether dependent upon a host of collaborators to see his work realized, and periods of great drama are understandably rare. There is no dispute about the origin of Western drama in festivals of Dionysius in Athens during the fifth century before the birth of Christ.

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