What’s the first novel ever written?

The Epic of Gilgamesh

What is an epic poem?

  • Novels must be fictional narratives focusing on specific human experiences. The Epic of Gilgamesh is not fictional so much as extremely exaggerated.
  • Gilgamesh is an epic poem. As cool as that is, novels are written in prose. Poetry can wait outside.
  • It’s kinda short. How long does a book have to be to be a novel? Longish. Not brief. ‘Book-length.’ Like another popular type of media, you know it when you see it.
  1. Is Gilgamesh fiction? YES
  2. Does it rely on imagery, not images (i.e., language rather than visual art)? YES
  3. Does the narrative deal with human experience? YES
  4. Is it divided into chapters (sections that are interdependent and integral to the narrative as a whole)? YES
  5. Is the narrative composed of a series of connected incidents? YES
  6. Did its creator or publisher consider it to be a novel? UNCLEAR




Novelist, journalist, coffee addictist. Books at amazon.com/author/katherineluck

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Novelist, journalist, coffee addictist. Books at amazon.com/author/katherineluck

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