Realism/Anti-Realism in 20th-Century Literature


Modernist literature and art have been dominated by a disinterest in mere empirical and social reality and a discontent with habitualized perception and the world-view of convention, reason, and pragmatism. This anti-realistic attitude originated in the epistemological scepticism of the early 20th century which was even radicalized by the advent of the »linguistic turn«, constructivism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism. Yet it would be a gross simplification to describe the 20th century flatly and globally as an age of anti-realism. Especially in its second half many neo-realist movements were launched, and non-Western literatures (e.g. »magic realism«) challenged Western modernity and its constructivist epistemology. Today, we can not only read many texts which might be attributed to a »postmodernist realism« but may even be watching the rise of a post-postmodernist realism. This vast field of research is discussed in a series of theoretical reflections and case studies of selected texts, movies and the internet which geographically embrace Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia. The volume may be of interest for students and scholars of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, and Media Studies as well as for students and experts in the cultures, authors and artists that are covered in the collection of essays.

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