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What is a novel?

The novel as a literary genre is a pretty broad category. There are, of course, sub-genres such as romance and sci-fi, and it is common to even hear the term “literary novel” used by critics and writers. The novel is a type of fiction, but other than that the genre is pretty undefined which will pose a problem as technology changes the way in which novels are written, published and read.

This piece at the Financial Times adds “novel of ideas” and the “philosophical” novel to the mix of novelistic types.

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The beginning…

This is the beginning of what will hopefully be many posts as I prepare to reapply to graduate PhD programs in English Literature this fall. I will post content and study resources for the GRE Lit exam, reviews of books published in the 21st century, and other essays and thoughts concerning topics related to the novel and literature in a burgeoning digital age. 

But for these first two weeks my goal is simply to acclimate to the medium, this novel telegraphy. Telegraphy (from Greek: tele τηλε “far”, and graphein γραφειν “writing”) is the long-distance transmission of messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message.

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