A double exploration of experiment in the novel from 1719 into the 19th century. Taking off from Zola's The Experimental Novel," consideration of the novel's aspect as scientific instrument. Taking the idea of experimental fiction in the usual sense of departures from standard practice, consideration of works that seem to break away from techniques of "realism" devised prior to 1750. Texts by: Sterne, Walpole, Burney, Sade, Godwin, Lewis, and Goethe. Substantial readings in the theory of the novel.