Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Formative Fictions – Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the "Bildungsroman" - Cornell Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Formative Fictions: Nationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the "Bildungsroman"

Tobias Boes


The Bildungsroman, or “novel of formation,” has long led a paradoxical life within literary studies, having been construed both as a peculiarly German genre, a marker of that country's cultural difference from Western Europe, and as a universal expression of modernity. This book argues that the dual status of the Bildungsroman renders this novelistic form an elegant way to negotiate the diverging critical discourses surrounding national and world literature. Since the late eighteenth century, authors have employed the story of a protagonist's journey into maturity as a powerful tool with which ... More

Keywords: Bildungsroman, literary studies, German genre, critical discourse, world literature, national literature, novels, George Eliot, James Joyce

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780801451775
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451775.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tobias Boes, author
Assistant Professor of German, the University of Notre Dame