Monday, July 11, 2011

Literary Blog HopLiterary Blog Hop: July 7-10

The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase! This week's question is:


What is one of your favorite literary devices? Why do you like it? Provide a definition and an awesome example.


A favorite literary device in my reading experience is the Bildungsroman. This is a German term which describes a novel of education or development of the hero (or heroine). My favorite novel of this type and a perfect example is David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. In this we see young David's growth and development from his early years in school through his failed first marriage that ends with the death of his wife Dora and concluding with his more satisfactory marriage to Agnes who had loved him all along.
As a Bildungsroman it was influential in the genre which included Dickens's own Great Expectations, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, published only two years prior, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain, and D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers.
This form of novel has appealed to me since I encountered Maugham's work in my teens and I found I enjoyed reading about the early life, education, and growth of his hero Philip Carey. Even though after several re-readings I still find Carey's choices in life questionable and frustrating I enjoy the journey and continued to read similar novels (all of those listed above and others) while learning more about this genre and its name.  I find them alternately educational and inspirational.  They remind me of biographies which I also enjoy for similar reasons.  
These novels are similar to "coming-of -age" stories and the Kunstlerroman (novel of the artist) which I also enjoy reading.  The latter group is exemplified by James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

2 comments:

parrish lantern said...

This was a popular choice amongst the lit hop, but for obvious reasons considering the authors you have ad examples.

James said...

Thanks for your comment. It seems I am not alone in my passion for this type of novel.