History of fiction

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History of fiction

  1. 1. A BRIEF HISTORY & OVERVIEW OF FICTION
  2. 2. FICTION DEFINED FICTION < A LATIN WORD MEAN- ING TO FORM OR TO MAKE.
  3. 3. FICTION DEFINED (cont.) A FICTION IS A “MADE” STORY, AN IMAGINED & INVENTED LITERARY COMPOSITION DESIGNED TO ENTER- TAIN (AND SOMETIMES INSTRUCT), TO MAKE READERS FEEL AND THINK.
  4. 4. FICTION DEFINED (cont.) TODAY THE TERM “FICTION” IS USUALLY APPLIED ONLY TO SHORT STORIES, NOVELS, & NOVELLAS, BUT OTHER LITERARY FORMS (E.G., PLAYS) ALSO HAVE FICTIONAL ELEMENTS.
  5. 5. HISTORY OF FICTION THE HISTORY OF FICTION IS A LONG & COMPLEX ONE.
  6. 6. ANTIQUITY OF STORIESSTORIES ARE A VERY ANCIENT HUMANPRODUCT, PRECEDING THE INVENTIONOF WRITING, AND THERE IS NO IDENTI-FIABLE “FIRST” STORYTELLER ORWORK OF FICTION.
  7. 7. EARLY FORMS OF FICTION THE MODERN NOVEL & SHORT STORY WERE PRECEDED BY MANY EARLIER FORMS OF FICTION, SUCH AS MYTHS, LEGENDS, FABLES, FAIRY TALES, PAR- ABLES, AND ALLEGORIES.
  8. 8. MYTHS TELL STORIES OF THE ORIGINS & EXPLOITS OF GODS & GODDESSES FROM VARIOUS ANCIENT CULTURES, SUCH AS GREECE, ROME, & SCANDI- NAVIA.
  9. 9. MYTHS (cont.) OTHER MYTHS DEAL W/ THE MYS- TERIES OF NATURE, INCLUDING THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE & ITS INHABITANTS.
  10. 10. MYTHS (cont.) THE PURPOSE OF MYTHS IS TO HELP PEOPLE MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD. THE GODS ARE DESCRIBED AS EX- PERIENCING HUMAN EMOTIONS & FACING HUMAN CONFLICTS.
  11. 11. LEGENDS RECOUNT THE AMAZING ACHIEVE- MENTS OF FICTIONAL CHARACTERS OR EXAGGERATE THE EXPLOITS OF ACTUAL PEOPLE (E.G., PAUL BUNYAN).
  12. 12. LEGENDS (cont.) LEGENDS OFTEN PRAISE CHARACTER TRAITS THAT ARE VALUED BY A PAR- TICULAR SOCIETY.
  13. 13. LEGENDS (cont.)EX.: PAUL BUNYAN WAS A RESOURCE-FUL LUMBERJACK WHO WORKEDHARD, NEVER BACKED DOWN FROM AFIGHT, & ENJOYED A GOOD PARTY—ALL QUALITIES ADMIRED BY EARLYAMERICAN PIONEERS.
  14. 14. FABLES USUALLY FEATURE ANIMALS WITH HUMAN TRAITS & STATE AN EXPLICIT LESSON (E.G., SLOW BUT STEADY WINS THE RACE, APPEARANCES ARE DECEP- TIVE, ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER).
  15. 15. FABLES (cont.)THE BEST-KNOWN FABLES WERE WRIT-TEN BY A GREEK SLAVE NAMED AESOP(600 B.C.E.), AND INCLUDE STORIESSUCH AS ANDROCLES & THE LION, THETORTOISE & THE HARE, AND THE WOLFIN SHEEP’S CLOTHING.
  16. 16. FAIRY TALES THIS FICTIONAL FORM OFTEN FEATURES SUPERNATURAL BEINGS LIKE GIANTS, TROLLS, & FAIRY GOD- MOTHERS.
  17. 17. FAIRY TALES (cont.)THEY ALSO FOCUS ON THE STRUGGLEBETWEEN GOOD & EVIL, WITH GOODALWAYS TRIUMPHING, THOUGHSOMETIMES IN GROTESQUE, VIOLENTWAYS.
  18. 18. FAIRY TALES (cont.) THE BEST-KNOWN COLLECTION OF THESE STORIES IS GRIMMS’ FAIRY TALES, WHICH INCLUDES CINDER- ELLA, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, HANSEL & GRETEL, RAPUNZEL, AND OTHER WELL-KNOWN FAVORITES.
  19. 19. PARABLES STORIES THAT TEACH A LESSON OR EXPLAIN A COMPLEX SPIRITUAL CONCEPT THROUGH THE USE OF ANALOGY.
  20. 20. PARABLES (cont.)THE NEW TESTAMENT CONTAINS MANYPARABLES ABOUT PROPER HUMANCONDUCT (E.G., THE GOOD SAMARITAN,LUKE 10:25-37) & THE RELATIONSHIPBETWEEN GOD & HUMANS (E.G., THESEED GROWING SECRETLY, MARK 4:26-29).
  21. 21. ALLEGORIES SYMBOLIC STORIES THAT TEACH A MORAL LESSON AND IN WHICH EACH CHARACTER, ACTION, & SETTING STANDS FOR A SPECIFIC MEANING.
  22. 22. ALLEGORIES (cont.) EX.: JOHN BUNYAN’S PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (1678), IN WHICH A CHARACTER NAMED CHRISTIAN, WHO EMBODIES THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTIANITY, JOURNEYS THROUGH A WORLD OF TEMPTATIONS & DANGERS (CITY OF DESTRUCTION, VALLEY OF HUMILIA- TION, ETC.) EN ROUTE TO THE CELESTIAL CITY (HEAVEN).
  23. 23. EVOLUTION OF FICTION OVER THE COURSE OF CENTURIES, WRITERS IN MANY LANGUAGES BE- GAN TO FOCUS MORE ON THE ARTIST- IC & ENTERTAINMENT POSSIBILITIES OF PROSE, . . .
  24. 24. EVOLUTION OF FICTION (cont.) . . .TO EXPLORE HUMAN CHARACTER W/OUT THE NEED TO PREACH & MORALIZE.
  25. 25. MODERN FORMS OF FICTION MANY 19TH-CENTURY WORKS NOW RE- FERRED TO AS NOVELS WERE CALLED “ROMANCES” BY THEIR AUTHORS (E.G., THE SCARLET LETTER, MOBY-DICK).
  26. 26. SHORT STORYTHIS TERM WAS FIRST USED IN THE U.S.IN THE 1880s, BUT DID NOT APPEAR INTHE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARYUNTIL 1933.
  27. 27. SHORT STORY (cont.) THE FIRST ANALYSIS OF SHORT STORY STRUCTURE & TECHNIQUE WAS A REVIEW BY EDGAR ALLAN POE OF NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE’S TWICE- TOLD TALES (1842).
  28. 28. POE ON THE SHORT STORY (cont.) POE STRESSED WHAT HE CALLED “UNITY OF EFFECT OR IMPRESSION” ACHIEVED THROUGH SUSTAINED TONE, REPETITION, CONTINUITY, & MOMENTUM.
  29. 29. POE ON THE SHORT STORY (cont.)ACCORDING TO POE, EVERY WORD OF ASTORY (AS IN A POEM) SHOULD CON-TRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL EFFECT.
  30. 30. POE ON THE SHORT STORY (cont.) SHOULD BE READABLE IN ONE SIT- TING (ABOUT 30 MINS. TO 2 HRS.), BEYOND WHICH EXCITEMENT CAN NOT BE SUSTAINED. CALLED HIS STORIES “TALES”
  31. 31. 19TH-CENTURY TALES (cont.)CHARACTERS BECAME MORE FULLYDEVELOPED, BEGAN TO HAVE SPIRI-TUAL & PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPTH.PLOTS BECAME MORE COMPLEX,SETTINGS MORE FULLY DESCRIBED.
  32. 32. 19TH-CENTURY TALES (cont.) OFTEN LED READERS TO WONDER & QUESTION RATHER THAN TO ACCEPT A DIRECTLY STATED MORAL OR LESS- ON.
  33. 33. NONREALISTIC FICTIONREADING THIS KIND OF LITERATUREREQUIRES THE “WILLING SUSPENSIONOF DISBELIEF” (S. T. COLERIDGE)—I.E.,WILLINGNESS TO TAKE SERIOUSLY & TOENJOY CHARACTERS, PLOTS, & SETTINGSTHAT ARE STRANGE & IMPLAUSIBLE.
  34. 34. REALISTIC FICTIONFOCUSES ON SCENES & EVENTS OFEVERYDAY LIFE.CHARACTERS ARE FULLY DEVELOPED,ORDINARY PEOPLE FULL OF COMPLEX-TIES & CONTRADICTIONS.
  35. 35. REALISTIC FICTION (cont.) SETTINGS ARE USUALLY MORE THAN BRIEFLY SKETCHED BACKDROPS. READERS ARE EXPECTED TO FIND MEANING FOR THEMSELVES.
  36. 36. SHORT STORY CHARACTERISTICS GENERALLY COMPRESSED & TIGHTLY CONSTRUCTED. CAREFULLY, CONSCIOUSLY MADE (HOWEVER SIMPLE, NATURAL, & FORMLESS THEY MAY SEEM).
  37. 37. SHORT STORY CHARACTERISTICS (cont.)ESSENTIALLY DRAMATIC, “SHOWING”RATHER THAN “TELLING.” TEND TOREVEAL CHARACTER IN ACTION ORUNDER STRESS. (NOVELS, BY CONTRAST, TEND TO SHOW CHARACTERS DEVELOPING OVER TIME.)
  38. 38. SHORT STORY CHARACTERISTICS (cont.) FOCUS IS OFTEN ON A SIGNIFICANT MOMENT OF PERCEPTION. OPERATE BY SUGGESTIVENESS & IN- DIRECTION.

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