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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the American novel and the problem of boring books. It investigates what would happen if the assumption about the existence of novel as a literary genre were treated as a critical problem. The article analyzes Herman Melville's 1849 novel Mardi and a Voyage Thither to demonstrate that in order to make sense of “bad” novels, one might be well served to suspend the categories required for deductive conclusions.

Keywords: American novel, boring books, literary genre, critical problem, Herman Melville, Mardi, deductive conclusions

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