Bildungsromans

Here we have one of the most impenetrable cataloguing words available. I mean, I know it’s not strictly a cataloguing word, but it is not a word I have encountered anywhere else in my life. 

Defined as “apprenticeship” or “coming of age” stories, usually fiction, the origination this form is commonly attributed to Goethe (according to Wikipedia), which is kind of appropriate I guess. At least, I’m only marginally ashamed to say I’ve never read any Goethe, but the very name just seems to suggest that he might have created a literary genre with such a cumbersome moniker.

In any case, we do not use this term in our library catalogue, but defer to the simpler Coming of age–Fiction. I’m all for young library users understanding stuff without having to have it dumbed down for them, but there are limits.

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