Surrealpolitik

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There were 20 results from your search for keyword(s): 'Realism'.

  1. Flaubert's Parrot uses the Realist convention of historical documentation in order to give the novel an illusion of reality. It does, after all, contain references to real people -- Gustave Flaubert, Enid Starkie, Christopher Ricks -- and places -- Rouen, Trouville, Croisset. That these people exist or existed is verifiable in the "Ricksian" sense. However, they exist in the novel not as objective facts, but as determined by the fictional Braithwaite's perception of them. Indeed, they become fictional constructs, both because of this, and because they are framed within the covers of a novel. Through metafictional techniques the novel creates levels of fiction and "reality" and questions the Realist assumption that truth and reality are absolutes. Flaubert's Parrot is typical of contemporary metafictional texts in that, while it challenges Realist conventions, it does so, paradoxically, from within precisely those same conventions. Metafiction often contains its own criticism, and the novels which play with Realist codes criticize, as this one does, their own use of them. More generally, they call into question the basic suppositions made popular by nineteenth-century Realism.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 3
  2. Critics such as Catherine Belsey, Terry Eagleton, and Edward Said see Realism as a tool of ideological control, precisely because it pretends to be normal and neutral.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 27
  3. Deleuze's notion of parody refers less to the novels' play on the conventions of the detective story form, however, than to their parodic relation to "the real" itself. He suggests that the novels presuppose the artificiality and even "falsehood" of lived reality, supplanting mimetic representation with the projection of simulacra.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 254
  4. For Raskolnikov, Dostoyevsky's protagonist, is not a passive observer of the room. The scene cited in the Manifesto in fact describes Raskolnikov's reconnaissance visit to an old pawnbroker who occupies the yellow parlor, and whom he will soon murder with the blunt side of an axe. The narrative gaze of the description is thus cast quite literally with an eye to murder...There is in fact a telling gap in Breton's quotation, an ellipsis that omits precisely the element of dramatic purpose whose absence from the supposedly "empty" room he rejects...By expurgating these lines, Breton empties the larger passage of any such ominous purposiveness. As a result, the description of the room becomes little more than a fragment of narrative ornamentation, allowing Breton to transform the lack of originality of the room's decor into a symptom of the imaginative bankruptcy its representation threatens to reproduce...

    In the 1924 Manifesto Breton uses his critique of Crime and Punishment as a means for asserting, by contrast, the promise of surrealist and Freudian understandings of the psyche. Unlike naturalism and positivism, these contemporary modes of analysis authorize the imagination to explore "the depths of our mind" as an alternative to more hidebound conceptions of experience. But surrealism, like psychoanalysis, also relied on naturalism and positivism, even as it rejected their limitations...In...1921...Breton makes the dramatic claim that the invention of photography in the nineteenth century "dealt a mortal blow to old means of expression." Breton's Ernst essay furthermore allies the mortal blow of photography with the development of automatic writing...as the "veritable photography of thought."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 25
  5. For the purposes of this study, Realism...is limited to the literary conventions (and their ideological implications) which were developed in nineteenth-century England and France as a formula for the literal transcription of "reality" into art.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. ix
  6. It is a common Realist sentiment that fiction is to be mistrusted unless it pretends to be something else.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 11
  7. It was hard to force Evan and Garth to notice my questions, but I learned a few things. They'd lived in the Dada-ready-made reality for about a week, wading through the ball bearings and wool, feeding on ice cream and barbecued duck. Then they'd climbed back over the table, into Lack, and emerged here, where they settled unquestioningly. Sure, they argued about whether they were alive or dead, whether they'd woken from a long dream or fallen into one, but they also argued over the location of specific fire hydrants, and about the chances of judging the amount of ink left in a ballpoint pen by weighing it in your hand. They were happy here. They were home.

    Source: As She Climbed Across the Table, p. 203
  8. Once published by an "expert," such findings become part of the scientific discourse and recur throughout the terrorism literature. Nor are such conclusions devoid of political significance when they are recycled as unquestionable dogma by counterterrorism officials. This was the case with Paul Bremer III, Ambassador at Large for Counterterrorism, who recapitulated Post's skewed data about the Basques before the Norwegian Atlantic Committee in Oslo, Norway, February 4, 1988. Thus, the highest-ranking US counterterrorism official, in an address ironically entitled "Terrorism: Myths and Reality," employed data that anyone familiar with the Basque case knew to be utterly erroneous. Such a deceptive metaterrorism game, by which experts are allegedly capable of sorting out "reality" from "myth," is an integral part of the entire discourse's strategy of self-authorization.

    Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 55
  9. Plato's reasons for his mistrust of the poet are social rather than aesthetic, and nineteenth-century Realism tends to be closer to Aristotelian mimesis than Platonic imitation. However, Plato's mistrust of literature as a form of lying is echoed in the nineteenth century, and is related to the Realist and Naturalist desire to make literature conform to so-called "neutral" scientific laws and "objective" historical documentation.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 6
  10. Saussure's emphasis, then, is on the constructedness of meaning. Linguistic structures determine our perception of reality so that meaning cannot exist independently of language. Stendhal's description of the novel as a mirror walking down the road is insight of this, in adequate because it assumes that "ready-made ideas exist before words" (Saussure 1915: 65). Instead, structuralists argue, "our knowledge of things is insensibly structured by the systems of code and convention which alone enable us to classify and organize the chaotic flow of experience" (Norris 1982: 4). Literature in structuralist terms can no longer be seen as a natural emanation from a mysteriously inspired, moral mind. Indeed, the gain of structuralist theory is the demystification of literature as an especially privileged discourse since structures, codes, and conventions are found just as much in literature as in Literature (see Eagleton 1983: 106-7).

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 21
  11. Several now untenable assumptions are clear, here. The first of these is that "empirical reality" is objectively observable through pure perception. The second is that there can exist a direct transcription from "reality" to novel. Implicit in this is the idea that language is transparent, that "reality" creates language and not the reverse...Finally, there is the notion that there is a common, shared sense of both "reality" and "truth."

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 12
  12. Sometimes such a visitor, influenced by fashion, would declare himself for Idealism but all I could see was yet another shame-faced realist, like so many well-meaning men these days, subsisting on a compromise between Kant and Comte. By abandoning the commonplace notion of reality for the concept of reality within they believe they have made a great leap forward -- but their idol, the Noumenon, has been exposed as a very mediocre piece of plaster...[T]here are other experiences that the mind can embrace which are equally fundamental such as chance, illusion, the fantastic, dreams. These different types of experience are brought together and reconciled in one genre, Surreality.

    Source: A Wave of Dreams, p. 16-17
  13. The godgame played in The Magus consists of a series of frames which are repeatedly established and broken. This framebreaking, as Brian McHale points out, presents us with a series of illusions of "reality:" "Intended to establish an absolute level of reality, it paradoxically relativizes reality; intended to provide an ontologically stable foothold, it only destabilizes ontology further" (1987: 197). This is a more than apt description of the effects of Maurice Conchis' "metatheatre" in the novel, a theatre designed "to allow participants to see through their first roles in it" (Fowles 1977b: 408-9).

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 88
  14. The most typical mode of terrorism discourse in the United States has been, indeed, one of Waiting for Terror...Now that we are told "nothing happened" during the period, Beckett's drama of aborted metaphysics and absurdity, with its intolerable emphasis on waiting turned into a kind of art, becomes an apt parable. That which captivates every mind is something so meaningless that it may never happen, yet we are forced to compulsively talk about it while awaiting its arrival. In the theater of the absurd, "non significance" becomes the only significance...When something does happen, after decades during which the absent horror has been omnipresent through the theater of waiting, the event becomes anecdotal evidence to corroborate what was intuited all along -- the by-now permanent catastrophe of autonomous Terror consisting of the waiting for terror.

    Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 26
  15. The point of this is that if "the factual side of literature becomes unreliable, then ploys such as irony and fantasy become much harder to use" [note: quote from Barnes' Flaubert's Parrot, p. 77]. In other words, the literariness of the text is dependent upon the veracity of the facts.

    Interestingly, the novel as a whole plays with precisely this notion. Braithwaite accumulates a vast amount of information about Flaubert, but this knowledge only makes him Flaubert's parrot. For Felicity in Un coeur simple, the parrot Loulou has mystical, religious connotations. Find the "real" parrot, however, will not give Braithwaite any mystical insight into either Flaubert or his fiction. The facts do not lead, as he hopes they will, to truth.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 2-3
  16. The report does not render the bloody room legible; rather it catalogues the impressions left by objects in the room in a way that isolates empirical detail from analysis and inductive reasoning. The elements of empirical reality may all be present, but their arrangement is not subject to logical reconstruction, nor does it obey the continuities of naturalist description; the details instead form a meticulous yet blindly taxonomic inventory. This primal scene of murder may know something, but it does not necessarily make any sense.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 29
  17. The theoretical premise of Realism is that art should eschew the "idealist metaphysics" (Becker 1963: 6) of Romanticism, and portray instead "things as they really are, in the sense of portraying objectively and concretely the observable details of actual life" (Kaminsky 1974: 217). This apparently simple dictate creates such innumerable difficulties that it has become a commonplace that Realism is one of the most problematic of terms. one of the major problems is that the Realists appear to have wanted to create a formula for the literal transcription of reality into art. This very premise is contradictory since, as soon as there exists a frame for reality, anything that is within that frame ceases to be "reality" and becomes artifact.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 5
  18. The usual slight distinction between shape and hue seemed wholly to have vanished. Colour was more intensely image than it can usually manage to be, even in that art. A beam of wood painted amber was more than that; it was light which had become amber in order to become wood.

    Source: All Hallows' Eve, p. 17
  19. When, in the second chapter [of The Magus], "the mysteries" begin, the reader is encouraged to "identify" with Nicholas as the only constant. Yet this too is made problematic because of the fluidity of characters' roles, as well as by the repetitions of and insistence on ideas about acting, staging, costumes, and performances. Nicholas is, after all, also a character in the metatheatre. In the final chapter, Nicholas arrives back in London. The apparent end of Conchis' masque proves to have been yet another performance, however, and the theatre continues even off the delineated "stage" at Bourani. Nicholas is still subjected to stage-managed moments even in the safety of his own familiar "reality." Appropriately enough, then, this last chapter is a frame with only three sides, giving the illusion that the theatre can spill out into the reader's world as well.

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 92
  20. [Re The Magus] However, this most convincing role also proves to be an illusion. At the end of Conchis' godgame Nicholas is abducted and subjected to a ritual "disintoxication." Here, he is faced with thirteen psychiatrists and psychologists, the apparent perpetrators of the "metatheatre." Amon them is Dr Vanessa Maxwell whom Nicholas recognizes as Lily/Julie. This is the last role, and although Nicholas discovers that it is yet another performance, he cannot now discover the "truth," even though he is allowed to meet the twins' real mother. On her, he heaps his anger that the "metatheatre" is anti-mimetic.

    Each of these roles leads Nicholas closer to what he thinks is "reality," yet each is an undercutting of the notion of an absolute "reality." Each is an affirmation of relativity. Nicholas' response to this is to adopt the role of Realist reader. Back in London he seeks correspondence between the events at Bourani and "reality." Conchis has warned him that "all here is artifice", but Nicholas cannot accept that Conchis' masque is neither mimetic nor expressive (in the traditional interpretive senses).

    Source: Realism and Power: Postmodern British Fiction, p. 91