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Thackeray and the Problem of Realism


Ahmed S. Altinel

Although it is traditional to see a certain kind of «realism» as the essence of fiction, in practice novels of course offer not a simple reproduction of experience but a throughgoing organization of it. The novel is, after all, a bourgeois genre and it reflects that bourgeois view of life according to which the world is there merely to be dominated and controlled by man. This study examines both Thackeray's early fiction, in which both the novel form and the manipulative society to which it belongs are attacked, and his later works, in which they are defended, and tries to determine the reasons for this change.
Contents: Realism and the novel - Realism and the reality principle: Thackeray's personality - Thackeray's approach to the novel form - Early parodies etc.