Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

Chris Lawson claw at ozemail.com.au
Thu Sep 24 08:30:13 EST 1998


dhansen at btree.com (Dave Hansen) wrote:

>>It's hard to point to any particular literary figure as being really critical.
>>Shakespeare was a man of his times, and he didn't introduce a new artform so
>>much as develop it. How about Daniel Defoe, who wrote the first modern novel
>>(even if it was based roughly on real events, Selkirk and Crusoe were not at
>>all similar...).

>I thought Miguel de Cervantes earned that honor for "Don Quixote"

For various reasons, Defoe's _Moll Flanders_ is widely regarded
as the "first novel." Obviously this is the sort of statement
that can be argued all day. _Don Quixote_, it was never meant to
be a realist piece. Like all fiction of its time it was
deliberately fantastical, and would therefore not be considered a
novel by some strict definitions. Having said that, modern
understanding of novels is that they certainly can be fantastical
in nature. So by modern standards, Cervantes may be back in the
game :-)


regards,
Chris Lawson




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