Realism in Literature

realism (in literature)

realism, in literature, an approach that attempts to describe life without idealization or romantic subjectivity. Although realism is not limited to any one century or group of writers, it is most often associated with the literary movement in 19th-century France, specifically with the French novelists Flaubert and Balzac. George Eliot introduced realism into England, and William Dean Howells introduced it into the United States. Realism has been chiefly concerned with the commonplaces of everyday life among the middle and lower classes, where character is a product of social factors and environment is the integral element in the dramatic complications (see naturalism). In the drama, realism is most closely associated with Ibsen's social plays. Later writers felt that realism laid too much emphasis on external reality. Many, notably Henry James, turned to a psychological realism that closely examined the complex workings of the mind (see stream of consciousness).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Realism in Literature: Selected full-text books and articles

The Realist Novel By Dennis Walder Routledge, 1995
The Culture Concept: Writing and Difference in the Age of Realism By Michael A. Elliott University of Minnesota Press, 2002
Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature By Donald Pizer Southern Illinois University Press, 1984 (Revised edition)
Realism and the American Dramatic Tradition By William W. Demastes University of Alabama Press, 1996
Documents of American Realism and Naturalism By Donald Pizer Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Emotive Realism By Thrailkill, Jane F Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol. 36, No. 3, Fall 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Realist Novel as Meta-Spectacle By Barnaby, Edward Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol. 38, No. 1, Winter 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
To Be Suddenly White: Literary Realism and Racial Passing By Steven J. Belluscio University of Missouri Press, 2006
Philosophy and German Literature, 1700-1990 By Nicholas Saul Cambridge University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap 3 "Two Realisms: German Literature and Philosophy 1830–1890"
The Literary Realism of William Dean Howells By William McMurray Southern Illinois University Press, 1967
Writing Realism: Howells, James, and Norris in the Mass Market By Daniel H. Borus University of North Carolina Press, 1989
Rebecca Harding Davis and American Realism By Sharon M. Harris University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991
Chesnutt and Realism: A Study of the Novels By Ryan Simmons University of Alabama Press, 2006
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