Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press
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Jim H.

Interesting post on a perennial subject. Quick comment: "realism" and "social criticism" (or reform or whatever term might be substituted) seem as opposed as "is" and "ought"—that takes care of Dickens. "Seeing" and "seeing as" seem more closely-related, like "description" and "art"—thus, Flaubert.

Your take-away point, to wit: "Brooks almost seems to suggest that 'art' and 'realism' are mutually exclusive terms" seems a fair comment given your reading. What's left if we poor writers eschew figurative language?

Jim H.


I am always confused when Dickens is treated as a 'realist' considering that his books are such obvious fabrications, full of fanciful characters and plot devices.

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