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"Genres of Work: The Folktale and Silas Marner" is one of a series of studies of archaism in the novel. Although, as indicated through its very name, the novel is often a genre of contemporaneity and simultaneous perspectives, it can also be, in the hands of certain authors, a vehicle for presenting the continuity or revival of traditions. Silas Marner is such a novel--an exploration of archaic and folkloric beliefs and forms, particularly those concerned with work and labor. Eliot's pursuit of these themes and forms seems to be less nostalgic than utopian; she uses the deep past and the persistence of knowledges as a way of opening perspectives and alternatives to her present.