What is Novels: Definition and 17 Discussions

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and 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".Some novelists, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ann Radcliffe, John Cowper Powys, preferred the term "romance" to describe their novels.
According to Margaret Doody, the novel has "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in the Ancient Greek and Roman novel, in Chivalric romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella. The ancient romance form was revived by Romanticism, especially the historical romances of Walter Scott and the Gothic novel. Some, including M. H. Abrams and Walter Scott, have argued that a novel is a fiction narrative that displays a realistic depiction of the state of a society, while the romance encompasses any fictitious narrative that emphasizes marvellous or uncommon incidents.Works of fiction that include marvellous or uncommon incidents are also novels, including The Lord of The Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Frankenstein. "Romances" are works of fiction whose main emphasis is on marvellous or unusual incidents, and should not be confused with the romance novel, a type of genre fiction that focuses on romantic love.
Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji, an early 11th-century Japanese text, has sometimes been described as the world's first novel, but there is considerable debate over this — there were certainly long fictional works that preceded it. Spread of printed books in China led to the appearance of classical Chinese novels by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). An early example from Europe was written in Muslim Spain by the Sufi writer Ibn Tufayl entitled Hayy ibn Yaqdhan. Later developments occurred after the invention of the printing press. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote (the first part of which was published in 1605), is frequently cited as the first significant European novelist of the modern era. Literary historian Ian Watt, in The Rise of the Novel (1957), argued that the modern novel was born in the early 18th century.

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  1. M

    Did any novels predict the effects of COVID-19?

    I've read number of virus disaster novels, but I can't recall any of them predicting anything like what's actually going on now. Anybody know of novels where the author predicted details such as a moderately lethal virus - so not end of the world stuff - leading to lock down and governments...
  2. bagasme

    How to write a novel, given the synopsis that I had written?

    Hello all, In schools I had been dealt with novels (just quotes from them) on any language classes. I had discussed a lot about its plot, the characters, background, and even moral stories. But I haven't ever been taught about how to write my own. In grade 12 of high school, instead I learned...
  3. FactChecker

    Series of science-themed novels for middle school in 1960s

    In the 1960s there was a series of science-themed novels for middle school children. Each book began with a boy accidentally meeting a scientist or science-club member and being introduced to the subject. I remember one about rockets, one about geology (and one about archeology?). I don't...
  4. scottdave

    Ursula K. LeGuin has passed away

    Ursula K. LeGuin, SciFi/Fantasy author, has passed away Jan. 22. I read only one of her novels: The Left Hand of Darkness, which I enjoyed. Here is her obituary. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/obituaries/ursula-k-le-guin-acclaimed-for-her-fantasy-fiction-is-dead-at-88.html Here is an...
  5. Docscientist

    Which Sci-fi novels explore a diverse range of biological concepts?

    Hello friends, I just wanted to know if there is any Sci-fi novel which involves a lot of biological stuffs.
  6. X

    Fiction/Nonfiction novel explaining Magnetism?

    Hi, I am new to the forums and thought of asking this question convenient right here. So, I was wondering that we have many novels explaining Astronomy and Particle physics for non physicists or physics enthusiasts. For example books on Biographies of say Einstein go a little deep into his...
  7. B

    Is there an equivalent to Siskel & Ebert for novels?

    I read Siskel's and Ebert's reviews of movies from when I was 12 years old until their deaths. I found the reviews to be very interesting. The closest thing to an equivalent of Siskel & Ebert's reviews of movies to novels that I know of is amazon.com. However, amazon.com reviews of novels are...
  8. Naomi

    What Novel are You Reading? Holiday Read Recommendations?

    The holidays are upon us. With the holiday's comes time off work and school for many. What books are you reading during your spare time? Do you Have any Favorite holiday reads? Perhaps some guilty favorites? Currently I am working on four novels: 1. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene 2. Anna...
  9. rania yassin

    Novels About Physics: Find Your Next Read!

    well i really like reading novels so i was wondering if there's any novels about physics that are good ? :P
  10. N

    Steampunk Novels: Finding the Best Reads

    Hello! I have started to take an interest in steampunk and related genres. I read China Mieville's Perdido Street Station and enjoyed his writing style and some of the ideas and imaginative characters. However, it wasn't "pure" steampunk. I tried The difference Engine but it didn't provide...
  11. R

    What are some of your favorite science-fiction novels?

    I'm going to be making a list of good ones to purchase for summer reading. I would like to see what are some people's favorite books here. If you can put a short description or say why you liked it, that would save me the trouble of reading a plot synopsis on wiki. Go, go, go!
  12. D

    Novels for an electrical engineer?

    I have been looking for a good book to read for a very long time. I am interested in something that would appeal to an electrical engineering student. Preferably a fiction of some sort with a sense of technology and adventure or action. I guess maybe a sci-fi of some sort.. Any recommendations...
  13. W

    Novels with characters who live alone

    I'm interested in reading novels with characters with certain traits. Primary interest: What novels have characters that are single and live alone? Primary interest: What novels have characters that are disaffected or alienated? Secondary interest: What novels involve involuntary...
  14. EnumaElish

    Reading Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander Novels

    Anyone into detective novels? I've read a few of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels over a few years. I think they're pretty good.
  15. B

    Exploring the Philosophical Implications of Time Travel in Sci-Fi Novels

    anybody know any good "hard " sci-fi novels on time travel? Preferably the kind discussing the philosophical implications of time travel , and/or incorporate Godel Universe and Einstein General theory of relativity into its plot.:smile:
  16. C

    Foundation Novels: Discussion & Reviews

    I have just read the foundation novels! They were great. Has anyone else read them? I need to talk to someone about them!
  17. K

    How plausible are the advanced technologies in the Halo novels?

    I recently read the novels based on the Xbox game "Halo" and was wondering about the technology. 1) There was frequent mention of a "MAC gun" (Magnetic Accelerator Cannon). For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Halo books, this weapon uses magnetic force to accelerate a metallic...