ⓘ Novella


Atala (novella)

Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le desert is an early novella by François-Rene de Chateaubriand, first published on 12 germinal IX. The work, inspired by his travels in North America, had an immense impact on early Romanticism, and went through five editions in its first year. It was adapted frequently for stage, and translated into many languages. Along with Rene, it began as a discarded fragment from a long prose epic the author had composed between 1793 and 1799, Les Natchez, which would not be made public until 1826. In 1802 both Atala and Rene were published as part of Chat ...


The Grandma

For a short movie by David Lynch see The Grandmother. The Grandma is a novella written by Czech writer Bozena Nemcova in 1855. It is her most popular work and is regarded as a classic piece of Czech literature. This most frequently read book of the Czech nation was published more than 300 times in the Czech language alone and translated into 21 other languages.


White Nights (short story)

White Nights is a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, originally published in 1848, early in the writers career. Like many of Dostoevskys stories, "White Nights" is told in the first person by a nameless narrator. The narrator is a young man living in Saint Petersburg who suffers from loneliness. He gets to know and falls in love with a young woman, but the love remains unrequited as the woman misses her lover, with whom she is finally reunited.


Disquiet (Strugatsky novel)

Disquiet is a 1965 science fiction novel by Soviet-Russian writers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky, set in the Noon Universe. It is the initial variant of the novel Snail on the Slope which has a different set of characters and is not set in the Noon Universe. After completing the first draft, the authors felt a need to take the novel in a different direction, which resulted in the creation of Snail on the Slope. However, twenty-five years later, they examined the initial draft and concluded that it was a decent novel in its own right. In 1990, it was published in "Измерение-Ф" magazine. In 19 ...


Tower of Babylon (story)

Tower of Babylon is a science fantasy novelette by American writer Ted Chiang, published in 1990. The story revisits the tower of Babel myth as a construction megaproject, in a setting where the principles of pre-scientific cosmology are literally true. It is Chiangs first published work. The story won the 1991 Nebula Award for Best Novelette, and was reprinted in Chiangs 2002 anthology, Stories of Your Life and Others.


Viy (story)

Viy ", also translated as The Viy ", is a horror novella by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, first published in the first volume of his collection of tales entitled Mirgorod. The title is also the name of the demonic entity central to the plot.


ⓘ Novella

A novella is a work of narrative prose fiction, longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Publishers and literary award societies typically consider a novellas word count to be between 15.000 and 40.000 words, although definitions vary.

The English word "novella" derives from the Italian novella, feminine of novello, which means "new". The novella is a common literary genre in several European languages.


1. History

The novella as a literary genre began developing in the Italian literature of the early Renaissance, principally Giovanni Boccaccio, author of The Decameron 1353. The Decameron featured 100 tales named novellas told by ten people seven women and three men fleeing the Black Death, by escaping from Florence to the Fiesole hills in 1348. This structure was then imitated by subsequent authors, notably the French queen Marguerite de Navarre, whose Heptameron 1559 included 72 original French tales and was modeled after the structure of The Decameron.

Not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries did writers fashion the novella into a literary genre structured by precepts and rules, generally in a realistic mode. At that time, the Germans were the most active writers of the novelle German: "Novelle"; plural: "Novellen". For the German writer, a novella is a fictional narrative of indeterminate length - a few pages to hundreds - restricted to a single, suspenseful event, situation, or conflict leading to an unexpected turning point Wendepunkt, provoking a logical but surprising end. Novellen tend to contain a concrete symbol, which is the narratives focal point.


2. Structure

A novella generally features fewer conflicts than a novel, yet more complicated ones than a short story. The conflicts also have more time to develop than in short stories. Novellas may or may not be divided into chapters good examples of those with chapters are Animal Farm by George Orwell and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells and are often intended to be read at a single sitting, as is the short story, although in a novella white space is often used to divide the sections, and therefore, the novella maintains a single effect. Warren Cariou wrote:

The novella is generally not as formally experimental as the long story and the novel can be, and it usually lacks the subplots, the multiple points of view, and the generic adaptability that are common in the novel. It is most often concerned with personal and emotional development rather than with the larger social sphere. The novella generally retains something of the unity of impression that is a hallmark of the short story, but it also contains more highly developed characterization and more luxuriant description.


3. Versus novel

The term novel, borrowed from the Italian novella, originally meant "Any of a number of tales or stories making up a larger work; a short narrative of this type, a fable" and was then many times used in the plural, reflecting the usage as in Decameron and its followers. Usage of the more italianate novella in English seems to be a bit younger. The differenciation of the two terms seems to have occurred only in the 19th century, following the new fashion of the novella in German literature. In 1834, John Lothrop Motley could still speak of "Tiecks novels which last are a set of exquisite little tales, novels in the original meaning of the word". But when the term novella was used it was already clear that a rather short and witty form was intended: "The brief Novella has ever been a prodigious favorite with the nation…since the days of Boccaccio." In 1902, William Dean Howells wrote: "Few modern fictions of the novels dimensions…have the beauty of form many a novella embodies."

Sometimes, as with other genres, the genre name is mentioned in the title of a single work compare the Divine Comedy or Goethes Das Marchen. Austrian writer Stefan Zweigs Die Schachnovelle 1942 is an example of a title naming its genre. This might be suggestive of the genres historicization.

Commonly, longer novellas are referred to as novels; Robert Louis Stevensons Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1886 and Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness 1899 are sometimes called novels, as are many science fiction works such as H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds 1897 and Philip Francis Nowlans Armageddon 2419 A.D. 1928. Less often, longer works are referred to as novellas. The subjectivity of the parameters of the novella genre is indicative of its shifting and diverse nature as an art form. In her 2010 Open Letters Monthly series, "A Year With Short Novels", Ingrid Norton criticizes the tendency to make clear demarcations based purely on a books length:

On a web search engine, input "novels" and "length" and you will find tables of word counts, separating out novels from novellas, even from the esoteric and still shorter "novelette" - as though prose works were dog show contestants, needing to be entered into proper categories. But when it comes to writing, any distinctions that begin with an objective and external quality like size are bound to be misleading. The delicate, gem-like jigsaw of Thornton Wilders The Bridge of San Luis Ray is one of the richest and most rewarding of literary allows for more extended development of theme and character than does the short story, without making the elaborate structural demands of the full-length book. Thus it provides an intense, detailed exploration of its subject, providing to some degree both the concentrated focus of the short story and the broad scope of the novel.

In his essay, "Briefly, the case for the novella", Canadian author George Fetherling who wrote the novella Tales of Two Cities said that to reduce the novella to nothing more than a short novel is like "insisting that a pony is a baby horse".

The sometimes blurry definition between a novel and a novella can create controversy, was the case with British writer Ian McEwans On Chesil Beach 2007. The author described it as a novella, but the panel for the Man Booker Prize in 2007 qualified the book as a "short novel". Thus, this "novella" was shortlisted for an award for best original novel. A similar case is found with a much older work of fiction: The Call of the Wild 1903 by Jack London. This book, by modern standards, is short enough and straightforward enough to qualify as a novella. However, historically, it has been regarded as a novel.


4. Versus novelette

Dictionaries define novelette similarly to novella ; sometimes identically, sometimes with a disparaging sense of being trivial or sentimental. Some literary awards have a longer "novella" and a shorter "novelette" categories, with a distinction based on word count. A range between 7.500 and 17.500 words is common among awards.


5. Notable examples

This list contains those novellas that are widely considered to be the best examples of the genre, through their appearance on multiple best-of lists.


6. Word counts

Some literary awards include a "best novella" award and sometimes a separate "best novelette" award, separately from "best short story" or "best novel". The distinction between these categories may be entirely by word count.