Information about the author:
Natalia T. Pakhsarian
Natalia T. Pakhsarian, DSc (PhD) in Philology, Professor at the Department of the History of Foreign Literature of Philological Faculty, 1) Lomonosov Moscow State University; Leading Research Fellow, 2) Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The article specifies the course of evolution of the English novel in the 17th and 18th centuries and compares it to the development of the French novelistic prose of the same period. The semantics of the Enlightenment terms “romance” and “novel” is spelled out, as well as the part Introductions played in making the novela self-conscious genre. Fielding’s critical stance, informing both his plays and novels, prompts appearance of elements of Rococo poetics in his early writings, which are very similar to those employed by Marivaux, a recognized Rococo author. The ironic games, the urge to amuse the reader, certain particularities of comism, keeping the burlesque at bay, the habit to represent action in interior spaces, the remarkable engagement with the Cervantes tradition — all of this distinguishes both Fielding’s Joseph Andrews and Marivaux’s Pharsamon, as well as other early writings of the French author. The offered analysis allows readers to rethink the accustomed evaluation of Fielding’s novels as realistic and pay closer attention to the Rococo matter in English prose of the 18th century.