I’m A Bildungsroman!
A few posts ago I lamented on what genre my teen protagonist driven novel belonged to.
I somehow stumbled on to this site and found a genre that I’ve never heard of, and one that I think applies very well to my novel. It’s called Bildungsroman!
What is Bildungsroman? Here’s a quick and simple definition:
Bildungsroman is a genre of novel that shows a young protagonist’s journey from childhood to adulthood (or immaturity to maturity), with a focus on the trials and misfortunes that affect the character’s growth.
Some additional key details about Bildungsromans:
- The word Bildungsroman is a combination of the German word bildung, meaning formation, and roman, meaning novel. The word Bildungsroman is typically capitalized because of its German origin (in German, all nouns are capitalized).
- The term “coming-of-age novel” is sometimes used interchangeably with Bildungsroman. This is not necessarily incorrect—in most cases the terms can be used interchangeably—but Bildungsroman carries the connotation of a specific and well-defined literary tradition, whereas “coming-of-age novel” is more of a catch-all term.
- A Bildungsroman typically begins with a protagonist who feels alienated and alone, but ends on a positive note with the character finding a sense of belonging or self-realization, though many authors have played with this formula.
Thank you to all the bloggers who gave me great advice about my genre!