Literary realism


Literary realism

Contents

Literary realism most often refers to the trend, beginning with certain works of nineteenth-century French literature and extending to late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century authors in various countries, towards depictions of contemporary life and society "as they were." In the spirit of general "realism," Realist authors opted for depictions of everyday and banal activities and experiences, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation. Jorge Luis Borges, in an essay entitled "The Scandinavian Destiny", attributed the earliest discovery of Realism in literature to the Northmen in the Icelandic Sagas, although it was soon lost by them along with the continent of North America.

Anglophones

George Eliot's novel Middlemarch stands as a great milestone in the realist tradition. It is a primary example of nineteenth-century realism's role in the naturalization of the burgeoning capitalist marketplace.

William Dean Howells was the first American author to bring a realist aesthetic to the literature of the United States. His stories of 1850s Boston upper-crust life are highly regarded among scholars of American fiction. His most popular novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham, depicts a man who, ironically, falls from materialistic fortune by his own mistakes. Stephen Crane has also been recognized as illustrating important aspects of realism to American fiction in the stories "Maggie: Girl of the Streets" and "The Open Boat."[1][2]

Zenith

Honoré de Balzac is often credited with pioneering a systematic realism in French literature, through the inclusion of specific detail and recurring characters.[3][4][5] Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Gustave Flaubert and Ivan Turgenev are regarded by many critics as representing the zenith of the realist style with their unadorned prose and attention to the details of everyday life. Later "realist" writers included Guy de Maupassant, Anton Chekhov, Bolesław Prus and, in a sense, Émile Zola, whose naturalism is often regarded as an offshoot of realism.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Realism, Writing, Disfiguration: On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane. M Fried. 1987. The University of Chicago Press.
  2. ^ Crane's Experiment in Misery. Sommers, Aaron. [1]
  3. ^ Rogers, Samuel (1953). Balzac & The Novel. New York: Octagon Books. LCCN 75-076005.
  4. ^ Stowe, William W !983). Balzac, James, and the Realistic Novel. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-06567-5.
  5. ^ C. P. Snow (1968). The Realists: Portraits of Eight Novelists. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333 24438 9.

Bibliography

  • Baron, Christine and Engel, Manfred, ed (2010). Realism/Anti-Realism in 20th-Century Literature. NL: Rodopi. ISBN 978-90-420-3115-9. 

External links


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