The Novella, a forgotten medium?

I propose an article that looks at novellas. The article could describe first what they are, explaining the length and conventions, explore how they differ from both a novel and a short story.

It could be worth looking into the history of this medium, when were they most popular and why? What were the first texts classified as novellas and what purposes did they serve? Perhaps offer suggestion as to why they are not big in the literary scene today.
Then, the article could offer analysis of some famous novellas, The Metamorphosis, Heart of Darkness, Jekyll and Hyde, Of Mice and Men, just to name a few.
Offer suggestion as to why these in particular were popular, was it their content? Context? Were their authors already published writers so fans would read anything of theirs?

If so desired, contrast the good by offering examples of novellas that are perceived as not good and offer reasons as to why. Are they not given the space to be fully developed? Does its brevity mean it is missing something?

Use this analysis to draw conclusions regarding the novella’s place in literature including, if possible, whether this medium is likely to regain popularity or merely survive as a medium at all.

  • Cool topic! I very much prefer long novels, but I have read some wonderful novellas, including Jekyll and Hyde and Of Mice and Men (although I have mixed feelings there b/c of outdated disability representation). Do you think serialized novels might fit the topic as well? – Stephanie M. 4 years ago
  • Serialised novels could absolutely fit the topic, if they can be logically incorporated into the discussion. Perhaps, they could be used to substantiate the length argument. Are novella-length texts enjoyed more when the reader knows there'll be one or two more instalments to follow? – Samantha Leersen 4 years ago
  • I love novellas, they have the detail of the novel with the accessibility (almost) of a short story. I think it would be useful in this prospective essay to acknowledge that a lot of the novels we associate with this time period (early 1900s) were originally serialised and were not necessarily released in the form we know them today. – hlewsley 3 years ago
  • One novella that could be analyzed here would be Hemingway’s last major work, The Old Man and the Sea (1962). Notably it is not serialized. – J.D. Jankowski 3 years ago

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