Novel As Dominant Literary Form In Twentieth-Century English

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash / novel

English in Twentieth-century embraced novel as the dominating literary form. With this acceptance and inclusion, the said literary genre started emerging as the most popular narrative feature in modern English literature.

An overview of the past literary eras reveals that the Restoration period accepted the charm of comedy. On the other hand, the Victorian age became identified for getting poems as the most popular platform.

However, the scenario gradually changed with the advent of the Twentieth century. And readers felt the need for a more appealing element in literature from this time. As a result, poetry started losing its eminence, and the novel appeared as the best medium to satisfy that thrust of interest. Gradually it began acquiring readers’ attentiveness and began holding the first place in the world of literature.

In present times one can easily say that the shift from poetry to novels helps meet the requirement of the modern era. From the latest and updated perspective, it is pretty clear that a long fictional narrative in prose style always remains more updated and tastier than poetry. Also, it appears much more accessible to the masses when compared to drama.

During the last century, probably for the first time, novels surfaced as the proponent of sociological studies and acquired the attention of great artists of this period. Eminent authors like James Joyce, Aldous Huxley, and others started manifesting their artistry as poets. Nevertheless, they changed their way of expressing their ideas and nestled in fiction writing. It helped them earn readers’ acceptance a thousand-fold, and their permanent reputation got identified with several popular novels.

Nonetheless, some rare exceptions are also visible among some famous fiction writers of the twentieth century, like Virginia Woolf, Edith Sitwell, and others. They enriched fiction by adding brilliant insights of poetry into it. Both the authors were poets, although they shifted their interest and observation to fiction. In a word, these writers individually set milestones with their intense influential artistry and infused some extraordinary traits in poems and drama but not in novels.

However, the emergence of unique authors like Virginia Woolf and Edith Sitwell got marked as some rare, exceptional, extraordinary instances. The reason is that twentieth-century English witnessed a supreme ascendancy of novels over other essential literary forms.

Moreover, the importance has constantly been increasing with the growing study and experiment regarding pioneering novelists’ matchless skills. And this continual urge to understand great novelists’ art uncovers the ongoing progress of novels even after the end of the 20th century. From a realistic point of view, it is undeniable that even after increasing competition and difficulties, this dominance is very much visible in the twenty-first century.         

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