The Antinomies Of Realism
The Antinomies of Realism is a history ofthe nineteenth-century realist novel and its legacy told without a glimmer of nostalgia for artistic achievements that the movement of history makes it impossible to recreate. The works of Zola, Tolstoy, Pérez Galdós, and George Eliot are in the most profound sense inimitable, yet continue to dominate the novel form to this day. Novels to emerge since struggle to reconcile the social conditions of their own creation with the history of this mode of writing: the so-called modernist novel is one attempted solution to this conflict, as is the ever-more impoverished variety of commercial narratives – what today’s book reviewers dub “serious novels,” which are an attempt at the impossible endeavor to roll back the past.
Fredric Jameson examines the most influential theories of artistic and literary realism, approaching the subject himself in terms of the social and historical preconditions for realism’s emergence. The realist novel combined an attention to the body and its states of feeling with a focus on the quest for individual realization within the confines of history.
In contemporary writing, other forms of representation – for which the term “postmodern” is too glib – have become visible: for example, in the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel or the stylistic plurality of David Mitchell’s novels. Contemporary fiction is shown to be conducting startling experiments in the representation of new realities of a global social totality, modern technological warfare, and historical developments that, although they saturate every corner of our lives, only become apparent on rare occasions and by way of the strangest formal and artistic devices.
In a coda, Jameson explains how “realistic” narratives survived the end of classical realism. In effect, he provides an argument for the serious study of popular fiction and mass culture that transcends lazy journalism and the easy platitudes of recent cultural studies.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Realism and its Antinomies
The Narrative Impulse
Affect or the Bodys Present
Zola or the Codification of Affect
Tolstoy or Distraction
Pérez Galdós or the Waning of Protagonicity
George Eliot and Mauvaise
Realism and the Dissolution of Genre
The Swollen Third Person or Realism after Realism
Kluge or Realism after Affect
Providence and Realism
War and Representation
The Historical Novel Today or Is it Still Possible?
Other editions - View all
aesthetic affect allegorical Balzac Barthes become Bildungsroman Boris Eikhenbaum bourgeois chapter characterization Cloud Atlas collective concept consciousness contemporary culture Daniel Deronda destiny dialectical distinct emergence episodes evil existence existential experience external fictional figures film Flaubert Fortunata y Jacinta fundamental Galdós genre Georg Lukács George Eliot grasp Hegel Henry James historical novel human ideological immense individual judgement kind La Comédie humaine language later latter’s literary livarot Lukács Meanwhile melodrama Middlemarch mode modern modernist multiplicity named emotions narrative novelistic object ontological Paris passion perhaps philosophical plot political position postmodern present Prince Andrew problem protagonist providential question realism realist novel reality récit reified relationship representation revolution rhetoric Roland Barthes Sartre Sartre’s scene seems sense social somehow story storytelling structure sure temporal theatrical theory thereby Tolstoy Tolstoy’s traditional trans transformation turn unique University Press villain word world-historical York Zola Zola’s