Antinovel – Definition & Meaning

In the world of literature, there are many genres and styles that have evolved over time. One such genre is the antinovel. It is a relatively new genre that has gained popularity in recent years. This article will explore the definition, origin, meaning, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and examples of antinovel.


An antinovel is a type of novel that subverts traditional narrative structures and conventions. It is characterized by its rejection of linear plot development, character development, and other elements of traditional storytelling. Antinovels often employ unconventional techniques, such as fragmented narratives, stream-of-consciousness writing, and non-linear timelines.


The antinovel emerged in the mid-twentieth century as a response to the dominant narrative forms of the time. It was a reaction against the traditional novel, which was seen as too restrictive and limiting. The term “antinovel” was first used by French literary critic Roland Barthes in 1953 to describe the work of Samuel Beckett.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an antinovel is “a novel that subverts or challenges the conventions of the traditional novel.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a novel that departs from traditional narrative structures and conventions.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a type of novel that does not follow the usual rules of storytelling.”


The antinovel is often associated with the literary movements of postmodernism and the avant-garde. It is also associated with the work of writers such as Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, and William S. Burroughs, who are known for their experimental and unconventional writing styles.


Some synonyms for antinovel include experimental novel, anti-narrative novel, and unconventional novel.


Antonyms for antinovel include traditional novel, conventional novel, and mainstream novel.

The same root words

The root words of antinovel are “anti,” which means against, and “novel,” which refers to a work of fiction.

Example Sentences

  1. “The antinovel was a radical departure from the traditional novel, with its fragmented narrative and non-linear structure.”
  2. “Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ is often considered an antinovel due to its rejection of traditional narrative conventions.”
  3. “The experimental nature of the antinovel can be challenging for some readers, but it offers a unique and innovative approach to storytelling.”
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