Philology Matters


The article is devoted to the study of the specific features of documentary novel in Modern American literature. The characteristics and evolution of a documentary novel are emphasized through the initial works of American authors. A documentary novel differs from other genres because of the factual and appropriate information. Norman Mailer, Truman Capote are considered to be the pioneering documentary novel writers in the Modern American literature. The initial establishments of documentary genre novel are considered to be the notes, religious laws, chronicles, political pamphlets, diaries, letters and others. Mostly, in documentary novels, the harshness of reality and difficulties of life, which sometimes keep unanswered, may be illustrated with the vital essentialities. The documentary novel is inclusive and non-selective, for the novelist does not select the elements of his experience in order to project a total perspective on life. Main characteristics of a documentary novel and its target should be minimally structured and its language should be an objective and non-imaginative. Besides, a documentary novel is one of the essential literary genres in the Modern American literature, which unrevealed secrets or the reality of circumstances depicted in main descriptions. A non-fiction novel and a documentary novel are appropriate to describe works that are read like novels but are based on facts documented by the author. Both literary terms denote a novel version of nonfictional events in the different periods. The usage of various language, symbols, narrative, metaphor, personage, intertextuality and all other required literary tools, novelists let the readers access to meaning and truth in writing the documentary novel. Truman Capote’s aptitude to give real-life accounts the feel and weight of a fiction piece have flourished the genre in Modern American literature. Even, nowadays, a half-century after the first ever nonfiction novel, journalists, directors, writers, the people of arts, generally, all of them, understand and utilize ideas, themes, and techniques made popular by Truman Capote in our everyday media and literature.

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  8. Truman Capote. In Cold Blood. New York: Random House. 1966,1965. p. 343.
  9. www.encyclopediabritannica.com



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