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Steven Earnshaw

science in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries queries exactly what kind of knowledge science can give us, and what status it can have relative to other kinds of knowledge. Nevertheless, a strand of philosophy has emerged called ‘critical realism’. This is most closely associated with the British philosopher Roy Bhaskar, and is a response to the relativism of postmodernism and poststructuralist critiques, for critical realism believes that we can improve our knowledge rather than just construct different views. It asserts that there is a mind-independent world

in Beginning realism
Tim Woods

critical realism that would force into the public eye the issues of state corruption, class exploitation and the manipulation by wealthy social elements of the poorer classes. An exponent of critical realism in novels like Violence (1979) and Heroes (1986), Iyayi explores the complex political problems in contemporary Nigeria, ranging across issues like the reasons for and consequences of the

in African pasts
David Ian Rabey

pain, I think. It means there is a voice, there is a colour, which belongs to that artist in particular; and therefore it carries a certain authority with it; which is, after all, what one works hard to achieve in theatre – especially if you’re dealing with subject matter which is unattractive in itself. Also, style is seductive. I think if you have a relationship with a public which is not based on shared values, which is not critical realism, which does not at the outset assume we all share the same values – which is the case in my work – style is the instrument of

in Howard Barker’s Art of Theatre
On Regie, realism and political critique
Peter M. Boenisch

comparisons with erotic attraction (to goods and money), sexual exploitation and prostitution – a basic conceit of his Maria Braun, too. At the same time, Fassbinder’s films are extremely stylised and never deny that what we see is staged and performed; a characteristic trait of his work since his beginnings in theatre. Aesthetically, Fassbinder’s excessive realism seems more akin to Castorf ’s stage aesthetics discussed above. In its difference, Ostermeier’s stage version therefore outlines his own distinct approach to a critical realism even more clearly. His production

in Directing scenes and senses
Abstract only
Michael G. Cronin

anthropological, autobiographical and folkloric modes of writing about rural Ireland that had become fashionable in the 1930s. Conceptually, Laverty brought a version of the liberal Catholic marital ideal into her fiction to create a symbolic integration between self-fulfilment and collective good, as well as between tradition and modernity. As we will see, the paradoxes and limitations of Laverty’s politics are manifest in her fiction. Nevertheless, her writing is also compelling because it does not just rely on the literary techniques of critical realism and naturalism, but

in Impure thoughts
Undead aesthetics and mechanical reproduction – Dorian Gray, Dracula and David Reed’s ‘vampire painting’
Sam George

some Hegelian dialectics, rejecting the narrow instrumentalism demanded of realist art and advocating aestheticism, yet simultaneously defending a critical realism that exposes the vices of the bourgeoisie (indeed, there is evidence that he had read Hegel). 45 He uses this device to explore and satirise the relationships in realism between artist, subject and audience/viewer. 46

in Open Graves, Open Minds
Steven Earnshaw

because man is always in context – man’s ‘ontological being’ cannot be separated from his ‘social and historical environment’ ( 1963 : 19). For Lukács, therefore, the promotion of modernist literature at the expense of realist literature also denies the way in which realism understands the relationship between individuals and the totality of society. Lukács argued that the best kind of critique available from literature was that presented by what he called bourgeois critical realism. Although the ultimate aim for literature should be socialist realism, it was not in

in Beginning realism
Hans Christian Andersen and Selma Lagerlöf
Maria Holmgren Troy and Sofia Wijkmark

sorts related to the fin-de-siècle atmosphere of pessimism and decadence. In Sweden, this Gothic resurgence is more specifically connected to an important moment in Swedish literary history known as the ‘shift between the 1880s and the 1890s’ – the common denominator is the debut of Selma Lagerlöf. During the 1870s and 1880s, a period known as ‘the modern breakthrough’, critical realism predominated Scandinavian literature and addressing the problems of modern society was perceived as the author's main task. In a Swedish context, the idea of literature as a vehicle

in Nordic Gothic
Tim Woods

: 63). Coetzee is suspicious of the testimonial concept (or the bearing witness to) embedded within realism, and his engagement with history appears indirect when put side by side with the staunch realism linked to black prose fiction, or the work of Nadine Gordimer. Nevertheless, as Dominic Head notes, this obliqueness of historical engagement is largely predicated upon a Lukácsian ‘critical

in African pasts