longest english literature

longest english literature

Exploring the Longest Works in English Literature: A Comprehensive Analysis

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1. Introduction to Long-form English Literature

Length attracts people who appreciate records – the longest mountain, the longest snake, the longest and highest building, the most important temple. With similar interests, those who look at literature find that they can identify the longest works. This is a very specific way to study literature; it is not the only way. Nor is it the most important way (as are other science or mathematically based) studies of a literary work or a body of literary works. Simply stated, among writing in the English language, the longest five works in existence can be discussed in two-word phrases. They are (1) The Blah Bleh (1,025,277 words), (2) The Blah Bleh (587,035 words), (3) The Blah Bleh (555,848 words), followed by two sharply less wordy works, (4) The Blah Bleh (402,225 words) and (5) The Blah Bleh (209,250 words). This is the list, and the literary analysis stops there in the usual texts on the subject. There must be more to write; enough, we labor to show, to fill thousands of pages.

Modern literature has been particularly intrigued by the concept of only a few writings making a distinct place for themselves as the longest in the world’s English literature. Various texts on English literature generally identify them and state which one of them is the longest, and little else is included in the literature. Through this work, we wish to provide an answer to the query of what an original, insightful, all-encompassing survey reveals about the question. Long-form writing is astonishingly rare in the English language. With only five examples in existence, there are no more than an elite few to be discussed. Consequently, the depth to which these longest works are studied needs to be correspondingly greater. We, therefore, feel that it is time for such an insightful survey.

2. Epic Poems: The Pinnacle of Length and Complexity

Beowulf originally comes from England, specifically England north of the Thames. The people in the stories were of Scandinavian and Germanic heritage, and we know how far back the stories go because the poet has left his (or her) name in the text. An epic poem is the pinnacle of length and complexity. True epic poetry is always about something that is important to a group of people. There are only a few truly recognized epic poems – the Hebrew Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament. These works share common themes with other epic poems, such as Beowulf, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. All deal with divinity and creation, as well as good and evil. In a famous poem by an American poet, it stated that the English language.

The English epic poem “Beowulf” is an example of literary writing at its finest. It can only be described as a masterpiece. An epic poem is one that tells the story of a hero’s journey, usually a voyage to distant lands. The trip is dangerous and full of obstacles, but the hero achieves his goal. Afterward, the hero goes back home and back to regular life. “The Hobbit” and “The Odyssey” are epic stories. The people in the story are much larger than life and perform great deeds. Epic poems help to explain our world, teaching us lessons about courage and honor, love and loss, history, and the future.

3. Novels: From Dickens to Infinite Jest

During the 19th century, the novel saw its major development in terms of length and complexity. The 19th century English novel (and its international variants in other languages) was born with Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley series of historical novels, whose various volumes averaged a few hundred pages each. This approach was followed to great acclaim by many other writers who are today still considered to be preeminent narrators and analysts of the human condition: Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, Wilkie Collins, and George Eliot, to name just a few. But special attention must be given to Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. They wrote some of the main examples of classic literature; this is even reflected in their length: depending on the edition, David Copperfield, Bleak House, or Little Dorrit already approximate the 900-page mark, and Vanity Fair is not far behind. The large count of lengthy novels of their time, often focused on the realm of what today is referred to as the domestic novel, is a fact all too evident; but ours is the century immediately familiar with such dramatic changes in both the novel and its context, beginning with technological advances such as a new type of press and changes in audience preferences. Only some decades later, fiction offered much larger works, such as War and Peace and Middlemarch. These are today studied in courses on the novel. And they have successors in our own century, such as Infinite Jest and the countless cycles of the Minipoche. In a sense, this has much to do with the broad subject matter of the novel, still very much the contemporary novel in the 21st century. But the same can be said in terms of the style and form assumed by its lengthy narratives, which have been up to date for over five centuries or so. The object of the present study is to explore this subject matter. Since the novel encompasses a wide variety of lengthy narratives, naming all its variations is not only unnecessary but, practically speaking, impossible.

Although lengthy works in English have been written from a variety of centuries, the specific act of compiling a novel has generally been a more modern preoccupation. Novels in English arguably have their origins with the still-popular works of writers like Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe, 291 pages) and Samuel Richardson (Pamela, 592 pages). Their lengthy narratives (especially when compared to most previous fictional works) were the result of their innovative decision to explore the lives of ordinary middle-class people, often in the new context of cities. By the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, longer novels also started to be written. Novels such as Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (970 pages), Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (584 pages), and Fanny Burney’s Evelina (389 pages) utilized sophisticated techniques of characterization and other narrative strategies to present the lives of their characters.

4. Dramatic Works: Shakespeare and Beyond

Christopher Marlowe discovered the expansive dramatic opportunities offered by blank verse, however, and it should be no surprise that in Marlowe’s fantasies, soliloquies, and irreplaceable Tamburlaine of 1587 Shakespeare discovered the instruments of power that would soon startle coalitions in the Globe. It took time to plant the Commercial Theater, of course. From 14 February 1582 until the spring of 1594, the dates generally assigned to the start of the mature phase of Shakespeare’s career, ten, eleven, twelve, even thirteen years could be conceived as the perfect season for creativity. However, it was also the case that Shakespeare’s dramatic literary development was unusually slow for the following dozen years, up to the convention of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1606.

This section focuses on dramatic works. The sheer diversity of dramatic works means they are challenging to compare with other literary works, so let’s start with a snapshot of one of the most famous examples of English language theater. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is a term that more accurately reflects Shakespeare’s legacy on English literature than the word “plays.” It was in print two years before his death, a remarkable achievement at the time. This 20-volume collection of Shakespeare’s dramatic works is a 19th-century invention that merges fifteen different decades of separately published titles: there are all four folios, eight important quartos, a bare handful of secondary texts, and five others. Despite the fact that Ben Jonson exclaims that Shakespeare “was not of an age, but for all time,” the highest peak for his plays is first realized with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, then a few years later with Hamlet.

5. Modern and Contemporary Long-form Prose: Experimental Narratives and Genre-bending Epics

Ultimately, Paul Richard identifies several significant problems in “The Making of Americans.” His large-scale definitions include the failure to create a significant literary art and the lack or perversion of any theme in volumes 1 and 2. In the smaller picture, the people in Volume 1 who “hate and love each other understandably,” degenerate either into familiar Stein caricatures, or, through “the extended dialect of their ramblings, into nothing.” Likewise, the complexity of the unflattering Vol. 2 portrait technique he proposes elides into, at most, eight portraits, all of which the promotional literature characterizes as essential to the book’s coming to life. This problem stems mainly from the confusion of paranoid embellishments with psychological insight. The disjunction between these two portraits explains why “The Making of Americans” fails to claim a significant part in the literary tradition, or to incorporate its primary materials such as reputation or style, or to rescue it from the rank of a brilliant and ambitious failure. There are, however, many patches of fine local portrayal. It would be perilous to review the book one of journalism, but taken generally, Richard concludes there is only to describe its failings.

In “The Making of Americans,” Gertrude Stein offers abstractions and portraits of Americans, and she does, as indicated by the title, create a collective portrait of the Americans generally, as well as two specific families. Like a fashion designer who tries to reinvent the look of a people for the new season, Stein tried to create a new look at and of a people for a new era after a devastating war. In Volumes 1 and 2, Stein worked through the dehumanized form of individuals produced, in her view, by science and philosophy. She created outlines of portraits and abstractions representing various depersonalizing forces. Yet, her spokesmen of the collective unconscious – the people – never exist as more than jarring stereotypes. In volumes 3 and 4, her people create themselves, while giving portraits of themselves. Whatever else she did in these volumes, Stein certainly did enable one to comprehend and feel an America. These durable, remarkable volumes never jell from abstractions and fantasies to characters and portraits.

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