Novel of circulation

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Illustration to Pompey the Little, by John June Pompey the little illustration.jpg
Illustration to Pompey the Little, by John June

The novel of circulation, otherwise known as the it-narrative, or object narrative, [1] is a genre of novel common at one time in British literature, and follows the fortunes of an object, for example a coin, that is passed around between different owners. Sometimes, instead, it involves a pet or other domestic animal, as for example in Francis Coventry's The History of Pompey the Little (1751). [2] This and other such works blended satire with the interest for contemporary readers of a roman à clef . [3] They also use objects such as hackney-carriages and bank-notes to interrogate what it meant to live in an increasingly mobile society, and to consider the effect of circulation on human relations. [4]

Contents

Examples

Twentieth-century examples include Ilya Ehrenburg's The Life of the Automobile (1929) [18] and E. Annie Proulx's Accordion Crimes (1996). [19]

Relationship to other genres

With works of Mary Ann Kilner of the 1780s, Adventures of a Pincushion and Memoirs of a Peg-Top, it-novels became part of children's literature. [20] One offshoot was a style of satirical children's verse made popular by Catherine Ann Dorset, based on a poem by William Roscoe, The Butterfly's Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast . [21] Quite generally, it-narrative in the 19th century is typified by an animal narrator. [22]

It has been remarked that the slave narrative genre of the 18th century avoided being confused with the it-narrative, being thought of as a type of biography. [23]

The plot of Middlemarch has been seen to be structured, initially, by a circulation; but to end in a contrasting "subject narrative". [24]

Alberto Toscano and Jeff Kinkle have argued that one popular form of hyperlink cinema, a genre of film characterized by intersecting and multilinear plots, constitutes a contemporary form of it-narrative. [25] In these films, they argue, "the narrative link is the characters' relation to the film's product of choice, whether it be guns, cocaine, oil, or Nile perch." [25]

Notes

  1. Wolfram Schmidgen (2002). Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Law of Property . Cambridge University Press. p.  127. ISBN   978-1-139-43482-9.
  2. 1 2 3 John Mullan (12 October 2006). How Novels Work. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN   978-0-19-162292-2.
  3. Liz Bellamy (26 September 2005). Commerce, Morality and the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Cambridge University Press. p. 121. ISBN   978-0-521-02037-4.
  4. Ewers, Chris (2018). Mobility in the English Novel from Defoe to Austen. Boydell and Brewer. p. 101-102.
  5. Jonathan Lamb (2001), 'Modern Metamorphoses and Disgraceful Tales', Critical Inquiry 28:1 (2001), pp. 133–66, reprinted in Bill Brown (ed.), Things (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2004), pp. 193–226 (p. 213).
  6. Jingyue Wu (2017), '"Nobilitas sola est atq; unica Virtus": Spying and the Politics of Virtue in The Golden Spy; or, A Political Journal of the British Nights Entertainments (1709)', Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 40:2 (2017), pp. 237–53 doi: 10.1111/1754-0208.12412
  7. Olivia Murphy (22 February 2013). Jane Austen the Reader: The Artist as Critic. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 79. ISBN   978-1-137-29241-4.
  8. Mark Blackwell (2007). The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-narratives in Eighteenth-century England. Bucknell University Press. p. 10. ISBN   978-0-8387-5666-9.
  9. Jolene Zigarovich (2 May 2013). Sex and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN   978-1-136-18237-2.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mark Blackwell (2007). The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-narratives in Eighteenth-century England. Bucknell University Press. pp. 135–8. ISBN   978-0-8387-5666-9.
  11. Wolfram Schmidgen (2002). Eighteenth-Century Fiction and the Law of Property . Cambridge University Press. p.  128. ISBN   978-1-139-43482-9.
  12. Christina Lupton (29 November 2011). Knowing Books: The Consciousness of Mediation in Eighteenth-Century Britain. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 49–. ISBN   0-8122-0521-9.
  13. Nicholas Hudson (2005) "Social Rank, 'The Rise of the Novel,' and Whig Histories of Eighteenth-Century Fiction", Eighteenth-Century Fiction: Vol. 17: Iss. 4 (2005), p. 587
  14. David Scott Kastan (2006). The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature. Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN   978-0-19-516921-8.
  15. Liz Bellamy (26 September 2005). Commerce, Morality and the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Cambridge University Press. p. 120. ISBN   978-0-521-02037-4.
  16. Mark Blackwell (2007). The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-narratives in Eighteenth-century England. Bucknell University Press. p. 142. ISBN   978-0-8387-5666-9.
  17. Mark Blackwell (2007). The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-narratives in Eighteenth-century England. Bucknell University Press. p. 144. ISBN   978-0-8387-5666-9.
  18. Toscano, Alberto; Kinkle, Jeff (2015). Cartographies of the Absolute. Zero. pp. 192, 285.
  19. E. Annie Proulx (1996). Accordion Crimes . Scribner. ISBN   0-684-83154-6.
  20. Mark Blackwell (2007). The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-narratives in Eighteenth-century England. Bucknell University Press. p. 280. ISBN   978-0-8387-5666-9.
  21. Frederick Burwick; Nancy Moore Goslee; Diane Long Hoeveler (30 January 2012). The Encyclopedia of Romantic Literature. John Wiley & Sons. p. 237. ISBN   978-1-4051-8810-4.
  22. Laura Brown (2010). Homeless Dogs & Melancholy Apes: Humans and Other Animals in the Modern Literary Imagination . Cornell University Press. p.  123. ISBN   0-8014-4828-X.
  23. John Ernest (2014). The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative. Oxford University Press. p. 70. ISBN   978-0-19-973148-0.
  24. Leah Price (9 April 2012). How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. Princeton University Press. p. 108. ISBN   1-4008-4218-2.
  25. 1 2 Toscano, Alberto; Kinkle, Jeff (2015). Cartographies of the Absolute. Zero Books. p. 192.

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