Nancy Gish wrote:
> (And we've all learned the
> new-critical distinction of "round" and "flat" character, so development
> has been critically bracketed there.)
The terms "round" and "flat" in reference to the novel were introduced
by E.M. Forster in _Aspects of the Novel_, 1927.
Apropos of nothing much, the terms are seriously misleading if applied
to Dickens, as Raymond Williams points out. In _Bleak House_, for
example, the 'character' that is fully rounded is the city of London
itself, not any of the persons in the novel. A characteristic of the
modern city is that (for the most part) its residents know each other
_only_ as flat characters in Forster's sense. For example, you overhear
one phrase from a conversation between two strangers you pass on the
street. More complexly, even the people you know extenstively at work
you know _only_ (again for the most part) as workers at that particular
This might be relevant to Eliot's clerk and the typist?