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A novella is a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 17,500 and 40,000 words.
A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.
A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new". Walter Scott made a distinction between the novel, in which "events are accommodated to the ordinary train of human events and the modern state of society" and the romance, which he defined as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents". However, many such romances, including the historical romances of Scott, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, are also frequently called novels, and Scott describes romance as a "kindred term". This sort of romance is in turn different from the genre fiction love romance or romance novel. Other European languages do not distinguish between romance and novel: "a novel is le roman, der Roman, il romanzo, en roman." Most European languages use the word "romance" for extended narratives.
The English word "novella" derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new".The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages.
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups.
The novella as a literary genre began developing in the Italian literature of the early Renaissance, principally Giovanni Boccaccio, author of The Decameron (1353). tales (named novellas) told by ten people (seven women and three men) fleeing the Black Death, by escaping from Florence to the Fiesole hills in 1348. This structure was then imitated by subsequent authors, notably the French queen Marguerite de Navarre, whose Heptaméron (1559) included 72 original French tales and was modeled after the structure of The Decameron.The Decameron featured 100
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages.
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian writer, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and an important Renaissance humanist. Boccaccio wrote a number of notable works, including The Decameron and On Famous Women. He wrote his imaginative literature mostly in Tuscan vernacular, as well as other works in Latin, and is particularly noted for his realistic dialogue which differed from that of his contemporaries, medieval writers who usually followed formulaic models for character and plot.
The Decameron, subtitled Prince Galehaut and sometimes nicknamed l'Umana commedia, is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. The various tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.
Not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries did writers fashion the novella into a literary genre structured by precepts and rules, generally in a realistic mode. At that time, the Germans were the most active writers of the novelle (German: "Novelle"; plural: "Novellen").[ citation needed ] For the German writer, a novella is a fictional narrative of indeterminate length—a few pages to hundreds—restricted to a single, suspenseful event, situation, or conflict leading to an unexpected turning point (Wendepunkt), provoking a logical but surprising end. Novellen tend to contain a concrete symbol, which is the narrative's focal point.[ citation needed ]
Realism, sometimes called naturalism, in the arts is generally the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, or implausible, exotic, and supernatural elements. Realism has been prevalent in the arts at many periods, and can be in large part a matter of technique and training, and the avoidance of stylization.
A novella generally features fewer conflicts than a novel, yet more complicated ones than a short story. The conflicts also have more time to develop than in short stories. Novellas may or may not be divided into chapters (good examples of those with chapters are Animal Farm by George Orwell and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells) and are often intended to be read at a single sitting, as is the short story, although in a novella white space is often used to divide the sections, and therefore, the novella maintains a single effect.Warren Cariou wrote:
In works of narrative, conflict is the challenge main characters need to solve to achieve their goals.
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. Ultimately, however, the rebellion is betrayed and the farm ends up in a state as bad as it was before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon.
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic, whose work is characterised by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
The novella is generally not as formally experimental as the long story and the novel can be, and it usually lacks the subplots, the multiple points of view, and the generic adaptability that are common in the novel. It is most often concerned with personal and emotional development rather than with the larger social sphere. The novella generally retains something of the unity of impression that is a hallmark of the short story, but it also contains more highly developed characterization and more luxuriant description.
The term novel, borrowed from the Italian novella, originally meant "Any of a number of tales or stories making up a larger work; a short narrative of this type, a fable" and was then many times used in the plural,reflecting the usage as in Decameron and its followers. Usage of the more italianate novella in English seems to be a bit younger. The differenciation of the two terms seems to have occurred only in the 19th century, following the new fashion of the novella in German literature. In 1834, John Lothrop Motley could still speak of "Tieck's novels (which last are a set of exquisite little tales, novels in the original meaning of the word)". But when the term novella was used it was already clear that a rather short and witty form was intended: "The brief Novella has ever been a prodigious favorite with the nation…since the days of Boccaccio." In 1902, William Dean Howells wrote: "Few modern fictions of the novel's dimensions…have the beauty of form many a novella embodies."
Sometimes, as with other genres, the genre name is mentioned in the title of a single work (compare the Divine Comedy or Goethe's Das Märchen ). Austrian writer Stefan Zweig's Die Schachnovelle (1942) (literally, "The Chess Novella", but translated in 1944 as The Royal Game ) is an example of a title naming its genre. This might be suggestive of the genre's historicization.
Commonly, longer novellas are referred to as novels; Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899) are sometimes called novels,[ by whom? ] as are many science fiction works such as H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds (1897) and Philip Francis Nowlan's Armageddon 2419 A.D. (1928). Less often, longer works are referred to as novellas. The subjectivity of the parameters of the novella genre is indicative of its shifting and diverse nature as an art form.[ citation needed ] In her 2010 Open Letters Monthly series, "A Year With Short Novels", Ingrid Norton criticizes the tendency to make clear demarcations based purely on a book's length:
On a web search engine, input "novels" and "length" and you will find tables of word counts, separating out novels from novellas, even from the esoteric and still shorter "novelette"—as though prose works were dog show contestants, needing to be entered into proper categories. But when it comes to writing, any distinctions that begin with an objective and external quality like size are bound to be misleading. The delicate, gem-like jigsaw of Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Ray [ sic ] could not be more unlike the feverishly cunning philosophical monologue of Albert Camus' The Fall , but both novels are about the same length.
Stephen King, in his introduction to Different Seasons , a collection of four novellas, has called the novella "an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic";King notes the difficulties of selling a novella in the commercial publishing world, since it does not fit the typical length requirements of either magazine or book publishers. Despite these problems, however, the novella's length provides unique advantages; in the introduction to a novella anthology titled Sailing to Byzantium, Robert Silverberg writes:
[The novella] is one of the richest and most rewarding of literary forms...it allows for more extended development of theme and character than does the short story, without making the elaborate structural demands of the full-length book. Thus it provides an intense, detailed exploration of its subject, providing to some degree both the concentrated focus of the short story and the broad scope of the novel.
In his essay, "Briefly, the case for the novella", Canadian author George Fetherling (who wrote the novella Tales of Two Cities) said that to reduce the novella to nothing more than a short novel is like "insisting that a pony is a baby horse".
The sometimes blurry definition between a novel and a novella can create controversy, as was the case with British writer Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach (2007). The author described it as a novella, but the panel for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 qualified the book as a "short novel". [ citation needed ]Thus, this "novella" was shortlisted for an award for best original novel. A similar case is found with a much older work of fiction: The Call of the Wild (1903) by Jack London. This book, by modern standards, is short enough and straightforward enough to qualify as a novella. However, historically, it has been regarded as a novel.
Dictionaries define novelette similarly to novella; sometimes identically,sometimes with a disparaging sense of being trivial or sentimental. Some literary awards have a longer "novella" and a shorter "novelette" categories, with a distinction based on word count. A range between 7,500 and 17,500 words is common among awards.
This list contains those novellas that are widely considered to be the best examples of the genre, through their appearance on multiple best-of lists.See list of novellas for other notable examples.
|Animal Farm||George Orwell||1945||30,000|
|Billy Budd||Herman Melville||1924||30,000|
|Breakfast at Tiffany's||Truman Capote||1958||26,433|
|A Christmas Carol||Charles Dickens||1843||28,500|
|Ethan Frome||Edith Wharton||1911||34,500|
|Heart of Darkness||Joseph Conrad||1899||38,000|
|I Am Legend||Richard Matheson||1954||25,204|
|The Metamorphosis||Franz Kafka||1915||21,810|
|Of Mice and Men||John Steinbeck||1937||29,160|
|The Old Man and the Sea||Ernest Hemingway||1952||26,601|
|Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde||Robert Louis Stevenson||1886||25,500|
|The Stranger||Albert Camus||1942||36,750|
Some literary awards include a "best novella" award and sometimes a separate "best novelette" award, separately from "best short story" or "best novel". The distinction between these categories may be entirely by word count.
|Nebula Award for Best Novelette||science fiction or fantasy||Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America||7,500||17,499|
|Nebula Award for Best Novella||science fiction or fantasy||Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America||17,500||39,999|
|Hugo Award for Best Novelette||science fiction or fantasy||World Science Fiction Society||7,500||17,500|
|Hugo Award for Best Novella||science fiction or fantasy||World Science Fiction Society||17,500||40,000|
|Novella Award||any genre of fiction||Screen School of Liverpool John Moores University and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of Contemporary Arts||20,000||40,000|
|RITA Award for Best Novella||romance||Romance Writers of America||20,000||40,000|
|British Fantasy Award for Novella||fantasy||British Fantasy Society||15,000||40,000|
|The Paris Literary Prize||literary fiction||Shakespeare and Company||17,000||35,000|
|Black Orchid Novella Award||mystery||Nero Wolfe Society||15,000||20,000|
|Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novelette||psychological suspense, horror, or dark fantasy||7,500||17,499|
|Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novella||psychological suspense, horror, or dark fantasy||17,500||39,999|
Dan Simmons is an American science fiction and horror writer. He is the author of the Hyperion Cantos and the Ilium/Olympos cycles, among other works which span the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres, sometimes within a single novel. A typical example of Simmons' intermingling of genres is Song of Kali (1985), winner of the World Fantasy Award. He also writes mysteries and thrillers, some of which feature the continuing character Joe Kurtz.
Harry Clement Stubbs, better known by the pen name Hal Clement, was an American science fiction writer and a leader of the hard science fiction subgenre. He also painted astronomically oriented artworks under the name George Richard.
Alice Bradley Sheldon was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree Jr., a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. It was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon. Sheldon was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.
Philip José Farmer was an American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.
Eric Frank Russell was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. Much of his work was first published in the United States, in John W. Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines. Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics. Up to 1955 several of his stories were published under pseudonyms, at least Duncan H. Munro and Niall(e) Wilde.
Robert Silverberg is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, and a Grand Master of SF. He has attended every Hugo Awards ceremony since the inaugural event in 1953.
John Simmons Barth is an American writer who is best known for his postmodernist and metafictional fiction.
Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis, commonly known as Connie Willis, is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. She has won eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for particular works—more major SF awards than any other writer—most recently the "Best Novel" Hugo and Nebula Awards for Blackout/All Clear (2010). She was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Science Fiction Writers of America named her its 28th SFWA Grand Master in 2011.
Kate Wilhelm was an American author. She wrote novels and stories in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres, including the Hugo Award–winning Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and she established the Clarion Workshop with her husband Damon Knight and writer Robin Scott Wilson.
Michael Lawson Bishop is an American writer. Over four decades and in more than thirty books, he has created what has been called a "body of work that stands among the most admired and influential in modern science fiction and fantasy literature."
Peter Soyer Beagle is an American novelist and screenwriter, especially fantasy fiction. His best-known work is The Last Unicorn (1968), a fantasy novel he wrote in his twenties, which Locus subscribers voted the number five "All-Time Best Fantasy Novel" in 1987. During the last twenty-five years he has won several literary awards, including a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2011. He was named Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by SFWA in 2018.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman is an American fantasy, science fiction and horror writer.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to fiction:
Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
Jason Sanford is an American science fiction author best known for his short story writing. His fiction has been published in Interzone, Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Year's Best SF 14, Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show and other magazines and anthologies. He also founded the literary magazine storySouth and runs their annual Million Writers Award for best online short stories.
The Shirley Jackson Awards are literary awards named after Shirley Jackson in recognition of her legacy in writing. These awards for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic are presented at Readercon, an annual conference on imaginative literature.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 is an anthology of science fiction and fantasy short works edited by Mercedes Lackey. It was first published in trade paperback by Pyr in May 2016.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 is an anthology of science fiction short works edited by Catherine Asaro. It was first published in trade paperback by Pyr in May 2013.
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