In the 19th century, why did literary realism start? I mean it in contrast to romanticism. Why did writers stop to express their ideals and conflicts in their works? I think it might be because none of them came true. But what did the new way of depicting the reality bring to them? This almost scientifically objective or very satirical way of writing. What was the purpose of such literature?

I apologize if my question is not clear, I had a hard time formulating it.

  • Does Wikipedia's article on literary realism help? – Tsundoku Apr 29 '19 at 19:09
  • @santimirandarp Sometimes, authors did get together with a common goal for literature. And even when they didn't, there may be found similarities in goals among the authors that are (later) grouped together in a literary movement. – Tsundoku Apr 30 '19 at 16:53
  • George Eliot wrote a manifesto in favor of realism in the middle of her novel Adam Bede, of which I only quote a small part: "Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin—the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, (continued) – Peter Shor May 1 '19 at 2:01
  • "it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings—much harder than to say something fine about them which is NOT the exact truth. ... In this world there are so many of these common coarse people, who have no picturesque sentimental wretchedness! It is so needful we should remember their existence, else we may happen to leave them quite out of our religion and philosophy and frame lofty theories which only fit a world of extremes. (continued) – Peter Shor May 1 '19 at 2:05
  • "Therefore, let Art always remind us of them; therefore let us always have men ready to give the loving pains of a life to the faithful representing of commonplace things--men who see beauty in these commonplace things, and delight in showing how kindly the light of heaven falls on them." Adam Bede was Eliot's first novel, published in 1859. So literary realism dates at least that far back. But rereading your question, maybe this isn't the kind of literary realism you have in mind. I wouldn't call Eliot "very satirical." – Peter Shor May 1 '19 at 2:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.