Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A novel tracing the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character, usually from childhood to maturity.

Etymologies

German : Bildung, formation (from Middle High German bildunge, from Old High German bildunga, from bilidōn, to shape, from bilōdi, form, shape) + Roman, novel (from French, a story in the vernacular, novel; see roman).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from German Bildungsroman, from Bildung, from bildunge, from bildunga, from bilidon ("to shape"), from bilodi ("form, shape"), + Roman ("novel"), from French, roman ("novel"). Hence "novel of education" or "novel of formation". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If nothing else, I would like to determine for myself whether Demanski's view of the possibilities of the modified bildungsroman is a sound one or not.

    Book Reviewing

  • Morally he scarcely improves over the course of the novel I've seen it described as a bildungsroman, but I'm not convinced Gully develops enough to merit that.

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  • A bildungsroman is defined as “a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity.

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  • What are the chances of running into the word bildungsroman twice in one crapometer?

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  • On "Spirited Away"--Miyazaki is a master of the female bildungsroman, which is not a common genre.

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  • The German word bildungsroman is used to describe what we English-speakers know as a

    TheGloss

  • A bildungsroman is the Love and Lust study of the growth of a youthful character and thus The World According to Garp is concerned it applies to Irving's novel.

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  • From this description we understand that McKenzie is writing a variation of the "bildungsroman" (the coming-of-age novel), and that she is taking something of a risk in experimenting with the form.

    Book Reviewing

  • Cooking, in other words, was a kind of bildungsroman for civilization itself.

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  • In the '' bildungsroman '', the protagonist must deal with adversity and conflict,

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

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  • a novel of personal development - a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity.

    November 6, 2007