Author ORCID Identifier

Essam Fattouh - https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4864-7332


Sebastian Faulk’s novel, Human Traces (2006), embarks on a new trend in contemporary English fiction. Through its representations of two main protagonists, pioneers in the field of psychology between the 1870s and 1918, Faulks traces the formative years of the development of the young discipline of psychiatry. Even though Faulks works in the realist traditions of Charles Dickens and George Eliot, yet he delves into such major questions as the role of unconscious motivations in human individual behaviour, the causes of mental illness, and the very attempt to understand the nature of the human being. The time frame of the novel expands from the portrayal of the struggles and relationships of a handful of individuals, to encompass the entire sweep of human evolution. Thus, Faulks in Human Traces introduces a radically new dimension in the development of the novel. This paper offers an attempt at evaluating the innovative thematic and technical achievement of a major work of modern fiction.


Sebastian Faulks, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, history of psychiatry, mental illness, human evolution.



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