Wood, Flaubert for the real? Hugo for the real and more

Misrepresentation 36 – limits on the real: The more that James Wood carries the term “realism” or “real” or “reality” the less water it holds. “…we are likely to think of the desire to be truthful about life – the desire to produce art that accurately sees ‘the way things are’– as a universal literary motive and project, the broad central language of the novel and drama…” Here we see (a repeat of) “the way things are” as “reality” that stories “bring…to mind” – never “possibilities” that stories bring to mind, or even “real possibilities,” which is the language not of the status quo. Fiction may reveal reality and possibility, both, in exploring the nature of the human condition achieved and potential – or what is the imagination for?

Victor Hugo:

“The human mind – an important thing to say at this minute – has a greater need of the ideal even than of the real.

“It is by the real that we exist; it is by the ideal that we live.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s