November 30, 2021

The term anti-romance refers to any form of creation of experimental literature that avoids the familiar conventions of the traditional novel.

Origin of the term

The term is introduced into modern literary discourse by the philosopher and critic Jean-Paul Sartre in his introduction to Portrait d'un inconnu by Nathalie Sarraute published in 1948. However, the term “anti-novel” is already used by Charles Sorel in 1633 to describe the parody nature of his prose fiction The Extravagant Shepherd ,.


In general, the anti-addict fragments and distorts the experience of its characters, presents events out of chronological order, and attempts to disrupt the idea of ​​characters with unified and stable personalities.


Although the term is most often applied to the French "nouveau roman" of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, similar traits can be found much earlier in literary history. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman of Laurence Sterne, an apparently autobiographical novel, digressions a lot and rejects the linear chronology from the thanks and the relation of the birth of the character mentioned in the title. In French literature, Jacques the fatalist and his master by Diderot is a good example of anti-addiction. Aron Kibédi Varga suggests that any novel actually begins as anti-romance, since early novels like Don Quixote subvert their form, even though they construct the form of the novel.


Among the novels that come under the anti-addiction label: Brian Aldiss: Report on Probability A Giannina Braschi: Yo-Yo Boing! Julio Cortázar: Hopscotch Rayner Heppenstall: Connecting Door (1962) Uwe Johnson: Conjectures About Jacob Vladimir Nabokov: Pale fire Varlam Chalamov: Vichéra (anti-Roman)

Related article

New Roman Postmodern literature

Notes and references

Translation source

(fr) This article is partially or fully taken from the English Wikipedia article "Antinovel" (see list of authors). Literature portal

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