A Concise Companion to Realism offers an accessible introduction to realism as it has evolved since the 19th century. Though focused on literature and literary theory, the significance of technology and the visual arts is also addressed.
Comprises 17 newly-commissioned essays written by a distinguished group of contributors, including Slavoj Zizek, Frederic Jameson and Terry Eagleton
Provides the historical, cultural, intellectual, and literary contexts necessary to understand developments in realism
Addresses the artistic mediums and technologies such as painting and film that have helped shape the way we perceive reality
Explores literary and pictorial sub-genres, such as naturalism and socialist realism
Includes a brief bibliography and suggestions for further reading at the end of each section
Matthew Beaumont is Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Department of English at University College, London. He is the author of Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900 (2005), and has edited Edward Bellamy s Looking Backward for Oxford World s Classics.
List of Illustrations ix Notes on Contributors x Foreword by Rachel Bowlby xiv Acknowledgments xxii Introduction: Reclaiming Realism 1 Matthew Beaumont 1 Literary Realism Reconsidered: "The world in its length and breadth" 13 George Levine 2 Realist Synthesis in the Nineteenth Century Novel: "The unity which lies in the selection of our keenest consciousness" 23 Simon Dentith 3 Space, Mobility, and the Novel: "The spirit of place is a great reality" 50 Josephine McDonagh 4 Fictions of the Real: "All truth with malice in it" 68 Terry Eagleton 5 Naturalism: "Dirt and horror pure and simple" 86 Sally Ledger 6 Realism before and after Photography: "The fantastical form of a relation among things" 102 Nancy Armstrong 7 The Realist Aesthetic in Painting: "Serious and committed, ironic and brutal, sincere and full of poetry" 121 Andrew Hemingway 8 Interrupted Dialogues of Realism and Modernism: "The fact of new forms of life, already born and active" 143 Esther Leslie 9 Socialist Realism: "To depict reality in its revolutionary development" 160 Brandon Taylor 10 Realism, Modernism, and Photography: "At last, at last the mask has been torn away" 176 John Roberts 11 Cinematic Realism: "A recreation of the world in its own image" 195 Laura Marcus 12 The Current of Critical Irrealism: "A moonlit enchanted night" 211 Michael Lowy 13 Psychoanalysis and the Lacanian Real: "Strange shapes of the unwrapped primal world" 225 Slavoj Zizek 14 Feminist Theory and the Return of the Real: "What we really want most out of realism " 242 Helen Small 15 Realism and Anti-Realism in Contemporary Philosophy: "What's truth got to do with it?" 259 Christopher Norris Afterword: A note on literary realism 279 Fredric Jameson Index 290