The novel had not been invented in Defoe's day, and Fielding was involved in its creation. The "romance" is not a term used for the better part of two centuries. Long fictional works are conventionally called novels. Long nonfictional works are not (Truman Capote's hubris aside.)
: If you made a
: "nonfiction collage," i.e., if you
: really took excerpts from a variety of
: first-person accounts, you would not have a
: fiction. You, the compiler, are not an
: "eleventh person."
: No, I'm not the eleventh person. The
: eleventh person is the fiction. His name is
: You are doing
: what I presume all historians do, looking
: over all the evidence available (verified
: first-person accounts would be especially
: valuable, I imagine) and attempting to
: reconstruct what happened.
: This makes me think of The Sense of an
: Ending where the guy tries to reconstruct
: from his memories. I suppose we can say that
: is a novel about a person reconstructing his
: history. Certainly he's not constructing a
: fiction, though his reconstruction of
: history is highly suspect.
: However, if you invent some of these
: first-person accounts (as Saunders does),
: you most certainly have fiction. It is not
: the multiple points of view that make it a
: fiction. It is the fact that the author
: created some of them, in the same way that
: any author creates fiction.
: It seems to me that in my example, the
: author has created the eleventh point of
: view, though not the sentences.
: Lincoln in the Bardo might be, bear with me
: now, more akin to War and Peace. Everyone
: know that Pierre and Natasha and Andrei are
: fictional creations. Yet, Tolstoy mixes in
: scores of real people and tells of
: Napoleon's invasion of Russia in highly
: historically accurate detail. The Battle of
: Borodino is especially vividly described.
: Tolstoy not only read all historical
: accounts, he collected letters, journals,
: etc. to be as accurate as possible. But no
: one ever questions that it is a novel.
: I suppose there is much reconstruction of
: history in novels. Perhaps novels are
: usually only mostly fiction.
: I think "nonfiction" exists in a
: grey space between scholarly history and
: Hm. Don't think I can agree with that. I
: certainly expect non-fiction to be 'true' to
: the extent history is true. Perhaps it's
: better to say these books exist in a gray
: area that makes them hard to label. I would
: say the best label is probably historical
: fiction/novel, but, of course, it's
: Most of the time, it's just convenient to
: use the term novel. Defoe used the word
: history; Fielding: comic epic in prose.
: There is the distinction Hawthorne clarifies
: in The House of the Seven Gables between
: novel and romance. We have the term
: Minippean satire. Tolstoy called Anna K his
: first novel; I don't really remember what he
: called W&P. I think anything that imagined
: the interior lives of characters would be a
: novel however solidly grounded in history it
: I guess we should get back to the
: significance of the citations in this
: particular novel. I'll think more about
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