Realism Essay

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In the following introduction to her Realism, Representation, and the Arts in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Byerly explores how Victorian novelists evoked and resolved the arts and their influence in realist novels.

By rejecting reality—and this is not a form of escapism
but an inherent quality of art—art vindicates
reality. Adorno. Aesthetic Theory

Fin de siècle

American culture is often criticized for its refusal to distinguish between reality and fiction, between fact and artifact. "Reality television" programs hire crime and accident victims to reenact burglaries, fires, and dramatic rescues. "Fictionalized" biographies turn historical figures into novel characters by inventing thoughts and dialogue. Movies about current events go into production before the events themselves have reached a conclusion. Television commercials mimic the daily life of consumers, a life of comparing and choosing, with music and images that impart aesthetic glamour to the ordinary objects at hand. All...

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This section contains 5,052 words
(approx. 13 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Realism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Realism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.