A History of the Bildungsroman


Sarah Graham


The Bildungsroman has been one of the most significant genres in Western literature since the eighteenth century. This volume, comprised of eleven chapters by leading experts in the field, offers original insights into how the novel of formation developed a strong tradition in Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and the USA. In demonstrating how the genre has been adopted and adapted in innovative forms of fiction, this volume also shows how a genre traditionally associated with the young white man has been used to give expression to the formative experiences of women, LGBTQ people, and post-colonial populations. Exploring the genre’s emergence and evolution in numerous countries and across more than two hundred years, this volume provides unprecedented historical and geographical coverage and demonstrates that the Bildungsroman has a rich heritage and a bright future.

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