Grand roman américain

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Le grand roman américain (Great American Novel) est un concept littéraire désignant des romans jugés particulièrement méritoires et décrivant la culture des États-Unis à un moment spécifique de leur histoire. Les auteurs de ces romans sont a priori des Américains possédant une connaissance approfondie des conditions de vie, de la culture et des opinions des citoyens américains à une époque donnée. La narration intègre le style d'expression de ces derniers, afin d'illustrer les usages lexicaux alors en vigueur et de refléter la culture américaine et la manière dont elle est perçue, et cherche à capturer une expérience américaine spécifique. Le concept est parfois assimilé une transposition américaine de l'épopée nationale.

Histoire[modifier | modifier le code]

Des ouvrages de fiction ont vu le jour pendant la période coloniale de l'Amérique, dès le XVIIe siècle. Néanmoins, à mesure que se développe le sentiment d'une identité américaine au XVIIIe siècle, est apparue une littérature fondée sur ce sentiment.

L'expression grand roman américain émane directement d'un essai (The Great American Novel, 1868) de John William De Forest (en), romancier de la Guerre de Sécession.

Dans son assertion moderne, ce terme est souvent employé au sens figuré pour qualifier les classiques de la littérature américaine.

Œuvres rattachés au genre[modifier | modifier le code]

Selon les époques, les romans ci-dessous ont été considérés comme appartenant au genre grand roman américain.

XIXe siècle[modifier | modifier le code]

XXe siècle[modifier | modifier le code]

XXIe siècle[modifier | modifier le code]

Voir aussi[modifier | modifier le code]

Épopée nationale

Notes et références[modifier | modifier le code]

  1. Hillel Italie, « "Last of the Mohicans" was first great American novel » (consulté le 14 octobre 2015)
  2. Lawrence Buell, « The Dream of the Great American Novel » (consulté le 14 octobre 2015) "There are, Buell says, four main types of potential Great American Novels. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter epitomises the first – a cultural “master narrative”, identified as such by the number of reinterpretations and imitations that follow in its wake."
  3. Lawrence Buell, « The Unkillable Dream of the Great American Novel: Moby-Dick as Test Case » (consulté le 26 octobre 2010)
  4. Randall Fuller, « The First Great American Novel » (consulté le 14 octobre 2015)
  5. United States Department of State, « The Adventures of Tom Sawyer » (consulté le 14 octobre 2015) "Considered one of the great American novels..."
  6. Robert B. Brown, « One Hundred Years of Huck Finn », American Heritage Publishing, june–july 1984 (consulté le 10 décembre 2011) It was called the “great American novel” as early as 1891 by the English writer Andrew Lang... ”
  7. The Columbia History of the American Novel By Emory Elliott, Cathy N. Davidson p. 323 "The Great Gatsby (1925), a work still frequently nominated as 'the great American novel.'"
  8. a et b Lawrence Buell, The Dream of the Great American Novel, Belknap,
  9. C.E. Morgan, ["'Light in August' is Faulkner's Great American Novel" The Daily Beast Aug. 16, 2012]. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  10. Arthur Hirsch, « The real great American Novel: 'Absalom, Absalom!' Faulkner: His ninth novel, for its span, its revelation, its American essence, stands above all others in reaching for this literary absolute. », The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD,‎ (lire en ligne)
  11. « Gone with the Wind » [archive du ], Powell's Books (consulté le 5 octobre 2016) : « Heralded by readers everywhere since its publication in 1936 as The Great American Novel... »
  12. Gone With the Wind, Georgia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved October 5, 2016. ("Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war has long been heralded as The Great American Novel.").
  13. Margo Hammond, « Norman Mailer on the Media and the Message » [archive du ], Book Babes, The Poynter Institute, (consulté le 21 septembre 2010) Norman Mailer is a Pulitzer Prize winning literary critic, and it is his opinion that: "The Great American Novel is no longer writable. We can't do what John Dos Passos did. His trilogy on America came as close to the Great American Novel as anyone. You can't cover all of America now. It's too detailed."
  14. Gioia Dana, « The Grapes of Wrath Radio Show - Transcript », The Big Read, The National Endowment for the Arts (consulté le 22 septembre 2010) Richard Rodriguez is a famous American writer. In this interview he referred to the Grapes of Wrath as The Great American Novel: "There hasn't been anything like this novel since it was written. And this is the great American novel that everyone keeps waiting for but it has been written now."
  15. Rob Nixon, « The Grapes of Wrath », This Month Spotlight, Turner Classic Movies (consulté le 22 septembre 2010) Nixon quotes John Springer, author of The Fondas (Citadel, 1973), a book about Henry Fonda and his role in film version of The Grapes of Wrath: "The Great American Novel made one of the few enduring Great American Motion Pictures."
  16. Andrew Warnes, « A Bigger Vision: Richard Wright's Native Son and the Great American Novel » (consulté le 14 octobre 2015)
  17. Charles McGrath, J. D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies at 91, New York Times, (lire en ligne)
  18. Patrick Giles, The Great American Novel, Los Angeles Times, (lire en ligne)
  19. Martin Amis, Review, The Atlantic Monthly (quoted by Powell's Books) (lire en ligne) Martin Amis is a well-known British novelist and professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. It is his opinion that "The Adventures of Augie March is the Great American Novel. Search no further. All the trails went cold 42 years ago. The quest did what quests very rarely do; it ended."
  20. Mary Elizabeth Williams, « Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov », Personal Best, Salon (consulté le 26 janvier 2013) Mary Elizabeth Williams is Salon's Table Talk host. She opens her review with these lines: "Some say the Great American Novel is Huckleberry Finn, some say it's The Jungle, some say it's The Great Gatsby. -- Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita".
  21. Frederick Jameson, The Seeds of Time, New York, NY, Columbia University Press, , 214 pages p. (lire en ligne) "These are familiar features of daily life in the super state from which, it should be noted, high modernism in the United States - in theory and in practice alike, fifties aestheticism organized around Pound and Henry James and Wallace Stevens and the New Criticism - was in desperate flight; of our great modern writers, only Nabokov handled this kind of material, in Lolita, which thereby at once became The Great American Novel,- but of course he was a foreigner to begin with." (Page 146-147).
  22. Nabakov is generally regarded as a Russian writer, even when he used the English language: David Rampton, Vladimir Nabokov : a critical study of the novels, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, (ISBN 0521257107)
  23. Maria Puente, « 'To Kill a Mockingbird': Endearing, enduring at 50 years », USA Today,‎ (lire en ligne) "It is Lee's only book and one of the handful that could earn the title of Great American Novel."
  24. Troy Patterson, « Rabbit at Rest », Slate, (consulté le 28 juin 2014) "To consider the 1,700-odd pages of his Harry Angstrom saga—the bounding tetralogy of Rabbit books and their limping postscript—is to find yourself considering a work with an excellent claim as the Great American Novel"
  25. Alan Ruch, « Introduction to GR » [archive du ], The Modern World, (consulté le 22 septembre 2010) "It is the Great American Novel come at last, a postmodern masterpiece."
  26. Steven Weisenburger, A Gravity's Rainbow Companion, University of Georgia Press, (lire en ligne), p. 412 "Thomas Pynchon's big book quickly confirmed him as one of the few novelists of unprecedented genius to emerge in the postwar era. Here was the Great American Novel at last. The reviewers' favorite comparisons were to Moby Dick and Ulysses."
  27. « San Francisco Review of Books » [archive du ] "Gaddis has written the long-awaited great American novel... A beautiful book and a brilliant author."
  28. « Transcript », sur - « Transcript »(ArchiveWikiwixArchive.isGoogleQue faire ?)
  29. Gabe Habash, « What Did We Learn from Our Great American Novel Poll? | PWxyz » [archive du ],, (consulté le 11 août 2014)
  31. « What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years? », The New York Times,‎ (lire en ligne)
  32. David Gates, « Levity's Rainbow »,, (consulté le 11 août 2014)
  33. David Foster Wallace, « Cambridge Book Review »,, (consulté le 11 août 2014)
  34. Brian Morton, « Scotland on Sunday » [archive du ] "Pynchon's finest work yet...if anyone is still looking for the Great American Novel then this may well be it."
  35. Matthew Spencer, « The Great American Novelist tournament: the final 32 », The Guardian, London,‎ (lire en ligne)
  36. « We Are What We Waste / Don DeLillo's masterpiece fits a half-century of experience inside a baseball », The San Francisco Chronicle,‎ (lire en ligne)
  37. Daniel Mendelsohn, « Comics Opera », New York Magazine, (consulté le 1er mars 2014) "I'm not sure what the exact definition of a 'great American novel' is, but I'm pretty sure that Michael Chabon's sprawling, idiosyncratic, and wrenching new book is one."
  38. Emily Temple, « 10 Great American Novel Contenders From the Past Decade », Flavorwire, (consulté le 22 octobre 2014) "PW nominated an earlier novel, 1980′s Housekeeping, but we’re equally fond of this one, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, the autobiography a dying congregationalist pastor in a flyover state. It’s a beautifully written personal history that doubles as a national one. Bonus: Obama lists the novel as one of his favorites on his official Facebook profile, for whatever that’s worth to you."
  39. Noah Cruickshank, « With Lila, Marilynne Robinson crafts one of the unlikeliest trilogies in modern American lit », A.V. Club, (consulté le 22 octobre 2014) "Gilead is one of the great American novels of the early 21st century, and deserved its 2005 Pulitzer Prize."
  40. Jonathan Jones, « Jonathan Franzen's Freedom: the novel of the century », The Guardian, (consulté le 22 octobre 2014) "Jonathan Franzen's new novel Freedom is a modern classic."
  41. Benjamin Secher, « Jonathan Franzen: one of America's greatest living novelists? », The Telegraph (UK), (consulté le 22 octobre 2014) "If Freedom doesn't qualify as a Great American Novel for our time, then I don't know what would."
  42. Lev Grossman, « Jonathan Franzen: Great American Novelist », TIME, (consulté le 22 octobre 2014) "Freedom feels big in a different way, a way that not much other American fiction does right now."