Elizabeth Kostova Writing Styles in The Historian

Elizabeth Kostova
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Epistolary Novel

Like Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Historian is an epistolary novel. This means that letters and journal entries and, in some cases, news reports or other documents are used to tell the story instead of a singular, linear narrative. This structural device works particularly well considering the scope and breadth of the novel. Kostova's characters travel from the United States to Istanbul to numerous locations in both eastern and western Europe and back again over the course of the novel. They also appear in various time periods, sometimes centuries apart, so the device helps make the story seem more realistic.

This device works on another level, too. Because letters and journal entries usually are a more intimate form of communication, they do more than simply relate pertinent information to the reader. Letter and journal writers reveal themselves through their words, which allows the reader to get to know...

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This section contains 281 words
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