The scholarly literature on realism has largely discussed the factors that have led to realism’s development and, concurrently, have played a role in the rise of the novel. Yet one of them has received little theoretical and historical framing: namely, the dialectical relationship that realism, especially late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century realism, established with the novelistic genres that predated its rise and in which it traditionally found expression. I examine this, with the conviction that there is a need for a new investigation of the connection between the orders of literary aesthetics and literary forms to consolidate the conceptual foundations of historical studies of realism, and to highlight its dynamic and conflicted character. For the purposes of this study, in the first section of the paper I engage critically with Russian Formalist Yuri Tynianov’s ideas about literary facts and the concept of “series” in order to argue that we should look at realism and novelistic genres as two separate but dialectically related literary series. In the second and third sections of the essay, I test this view on the grounds of historical morphology with reference to the dialectical encounter between the bildungsroman, a novelistic genre, and the realist aesthetic within a period that proved crucial for both of their histories: the forty years between the appearance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s "Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship" (1795–1796) and Honoré de Balzac’s "Père Goriot" (1834–1835).

Dialecticizing Realism: Aesthetics, Forms, and the European Bildungsroman

Stefano Ercolino
In corso di stampa

Abstract

The scholarly literature on realism has largely discussed the factors that have led to realism’s development and, concurrently, have played a role in the rise of the novel. Yet one of them has received little theoretical and historical framing: namely, the dialectical relationship that realism, especially late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century realism, established with the novelistic genres that predated its rise and in which it traditionally found expression. I examine this, with the conviction that there is a need for a new investigation of the connection between the orders of literary aesthetics and literary forms to consolidate the conceptual foundations of historical studies of realism, and to highlight its dynamic and conflicted character. For the purposes of this study, in the first section of the paper I engage critically with Russian Formalist Yuri Tynianov’s ideas about literary facts and the concept of “series” in order to argue that we should look at realism and novelistic genres as two separate but dialectically related literary series. In the second and third sections of the essay, I test this view on the grounds of historical morphology with reference to the dialectical encounter between the bildungsroman, a novelistic genre, and the realist aesthetic within a period that proved crucial for both of their histories: the forty years between the appearance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s "Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship" (1795–1796) and Honoré de Balzac’s "Père Goriot" (1834–1835).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5002632
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