The Realist Author and Sympathetic Imagination

Sotirios Paraschas

Studies In Comparative Literature 28

Legenda

28 May 2013  •  236pp

ISBN: 978-1-907975-70-7 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351191-87-6 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

ModernFrenchGermanEnglishFiction


The nineteenth century realist author was a contradictory figure. He was the focus of literary criticism, but obscured his creative role by insisting on presenting his works as ‘copies’ of reality. He was a celebrity who found himself subservient to publishers and the public, in a newly-industrialised literary marketplace. He was the owner of his work who was divested of his property by imperfect copyright laws, playwrights who adapted his novels for the stage, and sequel-writers. This combination of a conspicuous yet precarious status with a self-effacing attitude was expressed by an image of the author as a plural, Protean subject, possessing the faculty of sympathetic imagination – which the realists incorporated in their works in the form of a series of fictional characters who functioned as ‘doubles’ of the author.

Paraschas focuses on two realists, Honoré de Balzac and George Eliot, and traces this authorial scenario from its origins in the late eighteenth century to its demise in the early twentieth century, examining its presence in the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann, Friedrich Schlegel, Charles Baudelaire and André Gide.

Sotirios Paraschas is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in French at the University of Warwick.

Reviews:

  • ‘The arguments are based throughout on meticulous research, close attention to textual detail, and an adroit engagement with literary theory. They are also conveyed with notable elegance and clarity. Paraschas is not afraid to contest claims made by such influential theorists as Paul de Man, whose view of realism as a regression from the ironic novel of the eighteenth century is here neatly reversed. Undergraduates would find his admirably succinct introductory discussion of the ‘realist author’ a source of elucidation and stimulus.’ — Michael Tilby, French Studies 68.3, July 2014, 405-06
  • ‘In arguing for a more nuanced understanding of the realist mode, Paraschas has written an important contribution to nineteenth-century French studies, and a book that will serve as an invaluable reference for students and scholars alike.’ — Andrew Watts, Modern Language Review 110.2, April 2015, 516-17 (full text online)
  • ‘Extremely useful for understanding the attitude of early nineteenth-century Realists and their attempts to present verisimilitude as art.’ — Catherine Winters, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 43.3-4, 2015

Bibliography entry:

Paraschas, Sotirios, The Realist Author and Sympathetic Imagination, Studies In Comparative Literature, 28 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013)

First footnote reference: 35 Sotirios Paraschas, The Realist Author and Sympathetic Imagination, Studies In Comparative Literature, 28 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2013), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Paraschas, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Paraschas, Sotirios. 2013. The Realist Author and Sympathetic Imagination, Studies In Comparative Literature, 28 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Paraschas 2013: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Paraschas 2013: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This Legenda title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

Routledge distributes this title on behalf on Legenda. You can search for it at their site by following this link.


Permanent link to this title: