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Open Access Narrating ‘the modern’: Colonial-era southern Batak journalism and novelistic fiction as overlapping literary forms

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Narrating ‘the modern’: Colonial-era southern Batak journalism and novelistic fiction as overlapping literary forms

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As Lennard J. Davis (1997) points out in Factual fictions; The origins of the English novel, newspaper prose and novel writing had remarkably blurred boundaries throughout the late 1700s, the time when the early English novel was first gaining public currency on the popular print scene. Davis presents a complex argument. He first criticizes Ian Watt’s approach (1957) as set out in the latter’s classic The rise of the novel. Davis asserts that Watt relies on simplistic ‘evolutionary’ models about the ‘rise’ of genres. Davis goes on to observe that there was a generalized convergence of discursive forms in the English popular press and in storytelling in commercial print in the late eighteenth century.

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