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Flat Protagonists – A Theory of Novel Character - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Flat Protagonists: A Theory of Novel Character

Marta Figlerowicz


Flat Protagonists is a book of literary theory that examines a selection of British and French novels ranging from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. The authors it discusses are Aphra Behn, Isabelle de Charrière, Françoise de Graffigny, Thomas Hardy, and Marcel Proust. These writers’ novels all center around a unique narrative device, referred to as the “flat protagonist.” These novels’ character construction tends asymptotically toward what E. M. Forster describes as “flatness.” Their protagonists come ever closer to seeming, as Forster puts it, to be “constructed around a ... More

Keywords: literary theory, narrative theory, character, novel, flat protagonist

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190496760
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190496760.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marta Figlerowicz, author
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and English, Yale University

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