There is a fascinating piece by Eric Bulson (whose The Cambridge Introduction to James Joyce is due out this coming September) in the TLS (article not online) this week about the controversial work of Franco Moretti, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford. Bulson reviews the multi-volume Il Romanzo and also Graphs, Maps, Trees (for more, see The Valve Book Event discussing the latter title, and also Bill Benzon’s Signposts for a Naturalist Criticism and Timothy Burke’s Franco Moretti: A Quantitative Turn for Cultural History?).
In August, PUP release two volumes of selections from the five-volume Italian Il Romanzo: The Novel, Volume 1: History, Geography, and Culture and The Novel, Volume 2: Forms and Themes:
Nearly as global in its ambition and sweep as its subject, Franco Moretti's The Novel is a watershed event in the understanding of the first truly planetary literary form. A translated selection from the epic five-volume Italian Il Romanzo (2001-2003), The Novel's two volumes are a unified multiauthored reference work, containing more than one hundred specially commissioned essays by leading contemporary critics from around the world. Providing the first international comparative reassessment of the novel, these essential volumes reveal the form in unprecedented depth and breadth -- as a great cultural, social, and human phenomenon that stretches from the ancient Greeks to today, where modernity itself is unimaginable without the genre.