The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the literary genre of the novel. Unlike poetry or drama, which count among the oldest forms of literary expression, novels developed much later. Although we can find prose with novel undertones --as far back as the second century BC-- the early novels (Chariton's Chaereas and Calyrhoe, Petronius' Satyricon) are prose works which exhibit some of the characteristics of the novel. In the present course we will trace the origins of the novel, we will attempt to define what a novel is, and read some early examples, like Murasaki’s The Tales of Genji, Rabelais' Pantagruel and Cervantes' Don Quijote. We will also read excerpts from El Libro del Buen Amor, as well as some of the stories in Bocaccio's Decameron, which we can find dressed up in Chaucer's works.To help place the novel in its proper historical context, we will also examine some of the early romances such as Amadis de Gaula and Orlando Il Furioso.
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