Download The Cambridge Introduction to American Literary Realism by Phillip J. Barrish PDF

By Phillip J. Barrish

Among the Civil warfare and the 1st global warfare, realism was once the main well-known type of American fiction. Realist writers of the interval comprise a few of America's maximum, reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton and Mark Twain, but additionally many lesser-known writers whose paintings nonetheless speaks to us at the present time, for example Charles Chesnutt, Zitkala-Ša and Sarah Orne Jewett. Emphasizing realism's ancient context, this creation lines the genre's dating with strong, frequently violent, social conflicts concerning race, gender, classification and nationwide foundation. It additionally examines how the realist type used to be created; the inevitably ambiguous dating among realism produced at the web page and fact outdoor the e-book; and different, usually contradictory, types 'realism' took in literary works through diverse authors. the main available but refined account of yank literary realism presently on hand, this quantity can be of serious price to scholars, academics and readers of the yankee novel.

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Are pain and jealousy less savage realities down here in this place I am taking you to than in your own house or your own heart€– your heart, which they clutch at sometimes? The note is the same, I fancy, be the octave high or low” (47). It may at first appear as if the narrator is suggesting to her readers that the inner emotions, the “note,” they and the laborers hold in common could become the basis for bonds of sympathy across the gulf of class (“be the octave high or low”). Such a suggestion would seem in precise accord with the discourse of sentimentality already prevalent in nineteenth-century American culture: recall the identification based on shared maternal feelings that Stowe works to establish between white Northern women and the fleeing slave Eliza in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published less than a decade prior to “Life in the Iron Mills” (see Chapter 1).

He refuses to break his ranks and attempt the rescue of a wounded soldier from the midst of battle because “Army Regulations” forbid such attempts until after the battle has been decided (254). Just as much as the adrenalin-heightened experience of battle, De Forest portrays the days and weeks of boredom, insects, mud, bad rations, and fatigue, as well as both loneliness and camaraderie, that pervaded soldiers’ experiences. De Forest’s soldiers not only swear, as Howells noted, but they drink, sometimes heavily.

Flaubert set as his task to represent in literature “commonplace situations and trivial dialogue. To write the mediocre well and to see that it maintains at the same time its appearance, its rhythm, its words” (quoted in Fluck, “Morality” 87). The term realism was also used retroactively by critics to describe the massive achievement of Honoré de Balzac, whom American realist Henry James would later describe as the “founder” of literary realism (French Writers 49). Balzac took as his lifelong project the writing of a series he called La Comédie Humaine (The Human Comedy), which ultimately included almost ninety volumes (1829–48).

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