Steven Earnshaw
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Theorists of Realism
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This chapter looks at particular theories and theorists of realism, providing a sense of some of the most important critical work on literary realism from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The critical work on literary realism covered includes Eric Auerbach's Mimesis, Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel, and Catherine Belsey's Critical Practice. The chapter also provides an account of Georg Lukács, one of the strong defenders of realism. It deals with two major planks of Belsey's attack on realism: the role of language, and her conceptualisation of the classic realist text. STOP and THINK sections in this chapter list questions related to the challenges of realism, postmodernism, postcolonialism and magic realism.

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