Robinson Crusoe was originally published without reference to Defoe, seemingly pretending to be a genuine account (see the original opening page). Would the readers of that first edition have genuinely thought the story was true? How many early novels relied on this kind of blurring between reality and fiction? Was this an important element accounting for the initial success of the novel form? As a side note, does anybody know of any good and accessible written histories of the novel format?
posted by deeper red
on Jan 6, 2009 -