Realism: Artistic Movement

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Sakshi Verma Prof. Rupendra Guha Majumdar M.A. English Final Year 2nd November 2015 Realism is an artistic movement that began in 19th century France. Artists and writers tried to represent and depict events and social situations as they actually are, without idealizing them. They strived for detailed and factual description which is more close to real life. William Harmon and Hugh Holman asserted, “Where romanticists transcend the immediate to find the ideal, and naturalists plumb the actual or superficial to find the scientific laws that control its actions, realists center their attention to a remarkable degree on the immediate, the here and now, the specific action, and the verifiable consequence". Realism is a form of literature that aims…show more content…
Firstly, to identify a literary movement of the 19th century, especially in prose fiction which began with the writings of George Eliot in England, Balzac in France and William Dean Howells in America. And secondly, it represents human life and experiences in literature, in various eras, which was especially exemplified by the artists and writers of this movement. Realism is often opposed to Romanticism. The romanticism is said to present life as more picturesque, more idealized, more adventurous, more heroic than the actual. While on the other hand, realism aimed to present an accurate imitation of life as it is. Realism rejects romantic themes of artificiality and ignorance and instead embraces raw life as something more beautiful and art worthy. Stendhal defined realist fiction as stated in his novel Red and Black, “The novel is a mirror travelling along a highway. Now it reflects the azure skies, now the mud puddles in the road. And the man carrying the mirror in his basket will be accused by you of…show more content…
He introduced the term to refer to a new form of post-expressionist painting during the Weimar Republic. He meant it to create an art category that strayed from the strict guidelines of realism. The term is an oxymoron in itself which describes the forced relationship of implacable terms. Magical realism is characterized by two conflicting perspectives. Firstly, one perspective based on a so-called rational and pragmatic view of reality and on the other hand, the acceptance of the supernatural and fantasy as prosaic reality. Magical realism is different from pure fantasy primarily because the setting is in a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of human and society. It aims to challenges the binary oppositions like life and death and the pre-colonial past vs the post-colonial and post-industrial present. Magical realism, in relation to Latin American fiction has adopted it as the main term used to refer to all narrative fiction that includes magical happenings in a realist matter of fact narrative, whereby, ‘the supernatural is not a simple or obvious matter, but it is an ordinary matter, and everyday occurrence—admitted, accepted, and integrated into the rationality and materiality of literary

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