“Novel (noun): A work of prose fiction, usually an extended narrative but often idiosyncratic in structure, that tells a story or uses incident and setting to dramatize human experience and individual character, whether through imagination, re-creation of real-life existence, intricate or rich plot, the author’s particular vision or persona, or all of these; the genre of this type of prose writing. Adjective: novelistic; adverb: novelistically; verb: novelize.

‘At this late date—partly due to the New Journalism itself—it’s hard to explain what an American dream the ideas or writing a novel in the 1940s, the 1950s, and right into the early 1960s. The Novel was no mere literary form. It was a psychological phenomenon. It was a cortical fever. It belonged in the glossary to A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis, somewhere between Narcissism and Obsessional Neuroses.’”

Tom Wolfe, The New Journalism

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

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