Beating the Bounds

  • Maurice Larkin


Like the elephant encountered by the six blind Indians, Realism basks in a multiplicity of meanings. As a term it can be flexible or sharp-edged, depending on whether the scholar’s roving hands have chanced upon the tail, the trunk or the tusks. The dozen or so writers whose work provides the focus of this short selective survey exemplify nineteenth-century Realism in the sharp, deterministic meaning of the term; and it is in this fairly assertive sense that ‘Realism’ is understood in the following outline. Whatever their viewpoint, these particular writers saw Man as the product of heredity and environment, even if they differed in the degee to which they followed the logic of this concept.


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Some books

  1. Erich Auerbach, Mimesis (Princeton U.P., 1968), especially pp. 454–92.Google Scholar
  2. F. W.J. Hemmings (ed.), The Age of Realism (Penguin, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  3. Damian Grant, Realism (Methuen, 1970).Google Scholar
  4. Harry Levin, The Gates of Horn: a study of five French Realists (O.U.P., 1966).Google Scholar
  5. Hemmings, The Age of Realism (Penguin, 1974), Ch. 1.Google Scholar
  6. Maximillian E. Novak, Defoe and the Nature of Man (O.U.P., 1963 ).Google Scholar
  7. Mark Kinkead-Weekes, ‘Defoe and Richardson’ in R. Lonsdale, Dryden to Johnson (Barrie and Jenkins, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  8. Henri Fluchère, Laurence Sterne: from Tristram to brick. An interpretation of Tristram Shandy tr. Barbara Bray (O.U.P., 1965);Google Scholar
  9. Vivienne Mylne, The Eighteenth-Century French Novel: techniques of illusion (Manchester U.P., 1965);Google Scholar
  10. English Showalter, The Evolution of the French.Novel, 1641–1782 (Princeton U.P., 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Maurice Larkin 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurice Larkin

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