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?
“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.”