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Satire in an Age of Realism

£20.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture

  • Date Published: November 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107691230

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  • As nineteenth-century realism became more and more intrepid in its pursuit of describing and depicting everyday life, it blurred irrevocably into the caustic and severe mode of literature better named satire. Realism's task of portraying the human became indistinguishable from satire's directive to castigate the human. Introducing an entirely new way of thinking about realism and the Victorian novel, Aaron Matz refers to the fusion of realism and satire as 'satirical realism': it is a mode in which our shared folly and error are so entrenched in everyday life, and so unchanging, that they need no embellishment when rendered in fiction. Focusing on the novels of Eliot, Hardy, Gissing, and Conrad, and the theater of Ibsen, Matz argues that it was the transformation of Victorian realism into satire that granted it immense moral authority, but that led ultimately to its demise.

    • Presents the work of major writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, George Gissing, Henrik Ibsen, Joseph Conrad - in a very new way
    • Offers a new perspective on literary forms of the nineteenth century, drawing new links between realism and satire
    • Considers nineteenth-century fiction in the larger contexts of the history of satire and the history of the European novel
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107691230
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Augustan satire and Victorian realism
    2. Terminal satire and Jude the Obscure
    3. George Gissing's ambivalent realism
    4. The English critics and the Norwegian satirist
    5. Truth and caricature in The Secret Agent
    Epilogue.

  • Author

    Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
    Aaron Matz is Assistant Professor of English at Scripps College, California.

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