Features novel

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Under a feuilleton novel (also: newspaper novel , serialized novel , serialized story ) means a novel whose chapters in a popular magazine to be published. The serial publication is often followed by a book publication. In the 19th century the feature novel was the predominant form of first publication of novels in some parts of Europe. So have great popularity u. a. Eugène Sue and Alexandre Dumas the Elder . Although the serial publication favors texts with short arcs of tension and cliffhangers - i.e., tends to be entertainment and trivial literature - some masterpieces of world literature have also started as feature novels , including the works of Gustave Flaubert , Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky .

Definition of terms

If a larger narrative text corpus is not published chapter by chapter, but volume by volume, and not in a magazine, but in independent books or e-books , one speaks of a novel trilogy or tetralogy rather than a feature section or serial etc. or a novel cycle .

History of the feature section novel


The feature novel found widespread use in France earlier than in other European countries. An early example was Honoré de Balzac's short novel La Vieille Fille , which appeared in the daily La Presse in 1837 . Balzac had already published prose works in magazines since 1930 ( El Verdugo ).

The most successful feature novel ever published is The Secrets of Paris , which Eugène Sue published from June 19, 1842 to October 15, 1843 in 90 installments in the Journal des débats . Alexandre Dumas ' novel The Count of Monte Christo (1844-1846) was later published in the same magazine . He had previously published The Three Musketeers as a feature novel (1844, in the daily Le Siècle ). Even George Sand has repeatedly written feuilleton novels.

In the 20th century, Maurice Leblanc published the adventures of the master thief Arsène Lupine as serial novels (1905 ff. In the magazine Je sais tout ).

German-speaking area

Until the 20th century

A German pioneer of the feature section novel was Georg Greflinger , who founded the Nordic Mercurius in Hamburg in 1664 . In three episodes Greflinger published a German translation of Henry Neville's frivolous Robinsonade Discovery of the Isle of Pines (original 1668).

Georg Weerth had great success with his satirical work Life and Deeds of the famous Knight Schnapphahnski in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung . The novel was published during the March Revolution from August 8, 1848 to January 21, 1849. In 1850 the Kölnische Zeitung published the novels Nameless Stories by Friedrich Wilhelm Hackländer and Der Bauernfürst by Levin Schücking .

The most important organ in Germany for the continuation of literature was the family weekly Die Gartenlaube in the 1850s under the editorship of Ernst Keil . After initially only shorter prose works had been published in continuations, novels followed from 1861 onwards, beginning with two works by Otto Ruppius ( Ein Deutscher , 1861; Zwei Welten , 1862), Fanny Lewald's Der letzte seine Stammes (1862) and Hermann von Schmids The Bavarian Hiesel (1865). E. Marlitt , whose extremely popular prose work was published almost exclusively in the “Gartenlaube”, drove sales figures up many times over from 1865 onwards. Other productive novelists of the "Gartenlaube" were Wilhelmine von Hillern , Levin Schücking , Elisabeth Bürstenbinder (alias E. Werner), Friedrich Spielhagen , Stefanie Keyser , Ludwig Ganghofer , Ernst Eckstein , Wilhelmine Heimburg , Sophie Junghans , Ida Boy-Ed and Marie Bernhard . The book editions followed immediately after the serial publication in Keil's own book publisher.

Between 1888 and 1907, Franz Eugen Schlachter regularly published serialized stories in his Protestant magazine Brosamen von des Herr Tisch , which he later published as books, such as B. Resli, the goods boy .

In 1925, Jakob Wassermann published his novel Laudin and his own in sequels in the Vossische Zeitung .

21st century

Andreas Eschbach writes in the “Making of” of his serial novel “ Exponentialdrift ”: I believe that everyone involved assessed the need for the form of the serialized novel completely wrong. It's true, nobody has done this since Charles Dickens - but probably for good reason. I conclude this from the feedback I got. Almost everyone who wrote to me about "Exponential Drift" complained that they only got such a short piece of text to read and then had to wait another week. Many said that they felt it was unreasonable. [..] It may or may not be that people read less and less, but I believe that when someone reads, they do so faster and with higher standards than before. Against this background, the episodes were decidedly too short, both in terms of the reading experience and the creative possibilities. I believe that the classic serial novel - a few columns in a newspaper - is an outdated form.

Currently (as of 2017) the serial is as good as extinct.

An attempt to revive the serial novel succeeded the author Tilman Rammstedt , who published the novel "Morgen mehr" together with the Hanser Verlag . In contrast to the classic serial novel, the team around Rammstedt used the Internet as a medium for the distribution of the novel. With a paid subscription, the reader received two pages of the novel every day by e-mail, WhatsApp or online.


Fyodor Dostoyevsky published most of his work in magazines before it was published in book form. With the exception of The Player (1866), all of his novels were initially published as feature novels: Poor People (1846) in the magazine Peterburgski Sbornik , Njetotschka Neswanowa (1849) and Der Jüngling (1875) in Otetschestwennye Sapiski , Humiliated and Offended (1861) in Vemja , Schuld and Atonement (1866), The Idiot (1868), The Demons (1871) and The Karamazov Brothers (1879-1880) in Russki Westnik . Dostoevsky wrote mostly under more or less tight deadlines; H. while the first chapters were already being printed, he had designed later chapters, but not yet written them.

Goncharov published his novel Oblomow (1859) serially in Otechestvennye Sapiski . Turgenev 's Fathers and Sons (1862) as well as Tolstoy's War and Peace (1865-1869) and Anna Karenina (1875-1877) also appeared in Russki Westnik .

Famous sequel stories / novels


  • Hans Bohrmann: serial novel. In: Severin Corsten u. a. (Ed.): Lexicon of the entire book industry. Volume 2: Buck - Foster. 2nd Edition. Anton Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-7772-8911-6 , pp. 637-638.
  • Walburga Hülk : When the heroes became victims. Basics and function of social order models in the feature novels "Les Mystères de Paris" and "Le Juif errant" by Eugène Sue. Winter, Heidelberg 1985, ISBN 3-533-03686-3 .
  • E. Meunier and H. Jessen: The German Feuilleton .
  • H.-J. Neuschäfer , D. Fritz-El Ahmad and K.-P. Walter: The French feuilleton novel: the emergence of series literature in the medium of the daily newspaper . Darmstadt 1986, ISBN 3-534-01806-0 .
  • W. Haacke: Handbuch des Feuilletons .
  • Johanna Maria Pekarek: The newspaper novel in the Viennese daily press 1918–1938 taking into account developments since 1945 . Dissertation. University of Vienna, Vienna 1953.

Web links

Wiktionary: serialized novel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Du roman-feuilleton au roman de cape et d'épée. Retrieved August 6, 2020 .
  2. ^ Astrid Dröse: Georg Greflinger and the secular song in the 17th century . De Gruyter, Berlin, Munich, Boston 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-036336-4 , pp. 190 ( limited preview in Google Book Search).
  3. Florian Vaßen: Georg Weerth. A political poet of the Vormärz and the revolution of 1848/49 . Metzler, Stuttgart 1971, ISBN 3-476-00185-7 , p. 96.
  4. Florian Vaßen: Georg Weerth. A political poet of the Vormärz and the revolution of 1848/49 . Metzler, Stuttgart 1971, p. 172.
  5. Dierck Rodewald: The Maurizius case - viewed as a production process . In: Dirk Niefanger, Gunnar Och, Daniela F. Eisenstein (eds.): Jakob Wassermann: Deutscher, Jude, Literat . Wallstein, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8353-0158-0 , pp. 180–216, here: p. 198 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  6. ^ William Mills Todd III: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy: The Professionalization of Literature and Serialized Fiction . In: Dostoevsky Studies - The Journal of the International Dostoevsky Society . New Series Vol. XV, 2011, ISSN  1013-2309 , p. 29-36 .