This essay examines the phenomenon of typicality as a horizon of the novel's activity. The novel's manner of representing seems to require a certain belief in the existence of types. Yet how the novel goes about demonstrating this belief does not sit easily with usual ideas about what classification looks like or how it proceeds. Novels seem to manifest typicality while pulling away from taxonomic endeavors in the empirical world. If taxonomy aims at systematically arranging things in order to express how they are related to each other, typicality in the novel proceeds differently. Instead of linking typicality to quantitative occurrence, this essay examines how it asserts itself through a kind of representational intensity that can shift from one mode or object to another and take different forms. This intensity comes about not so much through description, or through the accumulation of detail, as through a kind of supercharged observation and modulations of narrative pace and speed. If taxonomy ends in an array, the novel's typicality manifests itself more phenomenologically and affectively, through sentiments and hard‐to‐define sensations that include those of decline and deficiency, of something missing or of something running down. There is also a phenomenon that occurs when types suddenly disclose themselves in all their fullness; such an event can even bring the narrative to a halt. This essay focuses on the question of how types appear, or, in other words, the phenomenology of the novel as form.

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