Representing Realists in Victorian Literature and Criticism by Daniel Brown

By Daniel Brown

This e-book is set the ancient second while writers and critics first used the time period “realism” to explain illustration in literature and portray. whereas scholarship on realism has a tendency to continue from an assumption that the time period has a fashioned that means and historical past, this ebook unearths that mid-nineteenth-century critics and writers first used the time period reluctantly, with a lot confusion over what it could truly suggest. It didn't collect the prepared that means we now take without any consideration until eventually the tip of the 19th century. in truth, its first definitions got here essentially when it comes to instance and analogy, via descriptions of present practitioners, or via fictionalized representations of artists. by means of investigating unique debates over the time period “realism,” this ebook exhibits how writers at the same time engaged with broader matters in regards to the altering meanings of what was once genuine and who had the authority to come to a decision this.

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111). Furthermore, the philosophy Dickens has Gowan espouse is similar to the characterization Masson offers of Thackeray and the Pre-Raphaelites. For example, Gowan says to Arthur Clennam: I claim to be always book-keeping, with a peculiar nicety, in every man’s case, and posting up a careful little account of Good and Evil with him. I . . find the most worthless man to be the dearest old fellow too; and . . make the gratifying report, that there is much less difference than you are inclined to suppose between an honest man and a scoundrel.

In ‘Hand and Soul’, Chiaro’s humble, matter-of-fact representation of his ‘soul’ attempts to make plain and ordinary something that previously required a religious, otherworldly explanation. Thus, Rossetti’s vision aligns itself closely with that of his Pre-Raphaelite Brother, Millais, in that both applied techniques for representing the ordinary and commonplace to articulate beliefs about the extraordinary and otherworldly. Rossetti even anticipates hostile and indifferent critical reactions to Pre-Raphaelitism in ‘Hand and Soul’ through interactions between the narrator and the other scholars visiting the gallery where the painting of Chiaro’s soul sits hidden beneath a Raphael.

29). In order to achieve this harmony, Academicians such as Reynolds expected artists to 2 PRE-RAPHAELITISM AS REALISM 33 arrange their subjects in shapes and patterns that were supposedly pleasing to the mind, believing that this pleasure reflected the realization of truth. In contrast, ‘the arduous goal of the artist in Modern Painters is not to communicate general or ideal shapes but to recognize the overwhelming and unfamiliar particularity of the world. . Ruskin’s “real” is radically other to the human mind .

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