Naturalist fiction is defined as that ‘in which an attempt is made to present with the maximum objectivity of the scientist the new view of man as a creature determined by heredity, milieu, and the pressures of the environment’ – Furst and Skrine. What are the strengths and limitations of such an approach?
NAturlist writers=writers who pretend that narrative devices exist, pretend their writing can be flttly journalistic. It is literary writing pushing as far as possible to a pretense of journalism.
Zola three windows – windows through which literature can represent the world
Classical: enlarges and heroises characters
Romantic: ’Distorted’ by illusory ideals, caught up in illusions and ideals- naturalism designed to destroy and cut through
Realist: entirely transparent view of the world, showing as it is, not enlarging or distorting
-can literature be a transparent window on the world it presents?
--authorial impersonality- author isn’t involves, questionable as can author disappear from work? And be entirely objective?? Unlikely.
--How can a literary text- by definition- always a selectionof carefully arranged devices designed to shape the readers deception. How can that ever fit description of transparency?
Pretense to pseudoscience objectivivity--------Reduction of the capacities of literature, reducing to level or reportage of journalism.
_______This opposition between a realist or naturalist approach and a literature prepared or foreground aspects of forma and style gives basis to argument of what literary fiction is meant to do.
--foundation of debate
A negative response to romanticism and the dreamy ideal it embodies.
Naturalism is the next generation f writers to realism, emerging through the1870’s to provide a method and set of techniques to carrying out program of smashing romanticism. Realism is the objective, naturalism is the method- scientific method, unquestionable faith in science and materialism, characteristic of the era.
-It is art which aspires to the condition of science.
-writer is fully identified with the figure of surgeon or anatomist
-takign place in a universe mechanistic, ruled by laws of cause and effect, everything can come back to that. One thing follos from another, everything can be reduced to cause and effect
-same determinism governs the stones on a road and the minds of man, you can kick a stone on the road and you know it wil go over there, so you can kick a character in a direction and you know how it will end up, predictable.
The figure of Darwin intervenes with massive impact, characters considered in temrs of animal behaviours, characters are products of instinct and sexual desire, driven to assert their power over others ike a bunch of chimps
It is a godless universe. Amoral universe. Beyond questions of good and evil, everything rues by laws of nature. Naturlaism at every level.
Characters are products of heredity and envirornent- characters choices and actions, driven by sex—that is all they are,...