The ‘Novel Of Ideas’ Is A Gimmick, But One That Sometimes Works

The form of “novel” is young, but its conventions are mostly clear – and the novel of ideas is different. “Whether executed as science fiction, bildungsroman, or more recently, the satirical form Nicholas Dames calls the ‘theory novel,’ the novel of ideas is ‘artful,’ with all the equivocality this term brings. Willingness to court the accusation of relying on overly transparent stylistic devices is a consistent, perhaps even cohering feature of a notoriously unstable genre.” – The Paris Review

Tags: Art, Words, Nicholas Dames, 06.25.20


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