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Bildungsroman

“The German noun which best describes the “rite of passage” moments a person or character in literature experiences in terms of moral and psychological expansion which indicates the passage from youth to adulthood is Bildungsroman. It’s literal translation means an imperative change “novel of formation, education, or culture.” First used in 1819 by philologist Karl Morgenstern during a university lecture and officially made famous by Wilhem Dilthey during 1870, the term achieved popularity during 1905 as a formal, topical, and thematic genre based in the technicalities involved in coming of age. The idea quickly spread from German to British literature and grew more extensive during the 20th century to include France and many other countries throughout the world. As a technical term, several variations and subgenres of Bildungsroman exist as the quest for answers, experiences, growth and gradual maturity from naivety to widsom in folklore, literature, film, and other works through difficulty, mistakes, disappointments, and conflict.


Ex. The religious and spiritual Bildungsroman passed down for centuries was found in a great novel.