Laurence Sterne etc. Sterne’s Tristam Shandy, which has practically no plot, opened up the possibilities of the novel as direct expression of the author’s own whims, humours and opinions. Oliver Goldsmith, is another novelist of the later eighteenth century, who took pains in drawing his characters. The raw technique of novel writing of the eighteenth century faced a kind of refinement during the nineteenth century. Gothic writers such as Horace Walpole, William Beckford and Mrs.Radcliffe brought back a love for chivalry, medievalism and adventure through their novels. Jane Austen asserted the place for women in novel writing. Then Sir Walter Scott inaugurated the historical novel. With Charles Dickens, who was born in 1812, the novel entered a new phase in its history. He was the first to evolve a more complex plot. Humour and pathos filled his novels and they aimed at social reform. Thackeray is another novelist of this century who tried to reveal the vanities of our society. George Eliot, Meredith, Charles Kingsley, William Morris etc are the other important novelists of this century.
The two world wars made changes in every sinew of society including literature. Its influence can be seen in fiction writing also. During the twentieth century we can see many changes and that too innovative changes in style and content of the Novel. Moreover, the psychological theories of Freud, Jung and the writings of postmodern novelists insisted on the freedom of expression of all human experiences and relationships. Joseph Conrad, Henry James, H.G. Wells, D.H. Laurence etc. are some of the important novelists of the twentieth century. Now, the conventional idea of the novel as a story shattered and gave way to innovative, experimental, psychological concepts of plot, character and narration.
Types of Fiction
There are three major types of fiction: Realistic, Non-realistic and Semi fiction. Realistic Fiction: Although untrue could really happen as some events, people and places may even be real – “faction”.What is Fiction? Can you define it? Now read the following… Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals in part or in whole, with information or events that are factual but imaginary invented by the author. It is a major branch of literary work. Most of the fiction that we read is in the form of novels.
The History of Fiction
Most of the Elizabethans wrote prose works of fiction such as John Lyly’s didactic Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit, Robert Greene’s Pandosto, Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde and Sir Philip Sydney’s Arcadia. A realistic element can be seen in works like Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller and Thomas Deloney’s Of Reading Daniel Defoe. In 1719 Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe which is considered as ‘‘the first English novel of genius”. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in 1726 must also be mentioned for its importance as a work of fiction.
Novel acquired its modern form during the first half of the eighteenth century. Samuel Richardson’s Pamela or Virtue Rewarded (1740) expressed a new way of potraying human feeling and motives. Following Pamela’s moral theme. Elariss and Charles Grandson also attained popularity. Other famous novelists of the eighteenth century were Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollet, In the future, imagined events could physically happen. Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon which was a product of his rich imagination later proved to be realistic in 1939, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon. They later returned safely to Earth.
Realistic fiction makes the reader feel that they are reading something that is actually happening. The description will be in a believable way that makes the reader visualize everything as actual events.
Non – Realistic Fiction
Here stories cannot happen in real life. They will be supernatural. Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings belong to this group....