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RealismRealism is a literary movement that attempts to describe life without idealization or romantic subjectivity. Although realism cannot be precisely timed or limited to any period, it is most often associated with a movement in 19th-century France (approximately 1840-1890). The term “realism,” which was originally used by the thirteenth-century scholastics to describe a belief in the reality of ideas, in the 19th century became associated with a group of writers who claimed it as a slogan for the movement. Friedrich Schiller was the first who used it as a literary term. In his letter to Goethe, on April 27, 1798, he wrote, “realism cannot make a poet.” Contrary to him, in the “Ideen,” No. 6 in 1798, Friedrich Schlegel claimed that that “all philosophy is idealism and there is no true realism except that of poetry.”
Honore de Balzac, the author of “La comedie humaineis” is considered to be a precursor of the movement, but the first work that belonged to the Realism were the novels of Gustave Flaubert and the short stories of Guy de Maupassant in France, Anton Chekhov in Russia, George Eliot in England, and Mark Twain and William Dean Howells in the USA. Realists mainly focused on middle-class characters in their everyday environments and highly downplayed the plot. The Anglo-American novelist Henry James developed his characters to such a high degree that it evolved into subgenre – the psychological novel.
Later, realism evolved into literary movements such as Naturalism and Stream of Consciousness and, with the arrival of avant-garde art in the late 19th century, was abandoned in favour of more abstract styles. Main characteristics:
* Faithful representation of life
* Concentrating on middle-class life and preoccupations
* Scenes of humble life
* Criticism of social conditions
* Characters are in centre of interest as opposed to a plot
* Subjects portrayed with simplicity and respect but little elaboration


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