The Resource Facing facts : realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920, David E. Shi

Facing facts : realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920, David E. Shi

Label
Facing facts : realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920
Title
Facing facts
Title remainder
realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920
Statement of responsibility
David E. Shi
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • In Facing Facts, David Shi provides the most comprehensive history to date of the rise of realism in American culture. He vividly captures the character and sweep of this all-encompassing movement - ranging from Winslow Homer to the rise of the Ash Can school, from Whitman to Henry James to Theodore Dreiser. He begins with a look at the antebellum years, when idealistic themes were considered the only fit subject for art (Hawthorne wrote that "the grosser life is a dream, and the spiritual life is a reality"). Whitman's assault on these otherworldly standards coincided with sweeping changes in American society: the bloody Civil War, the aggressive advance of a modern scientific spirit, the emergence of photography and penny newspapers, the expansion of cities, capitalism, and the middle class - all worked to shake the foundations of genteel idealism and sentimental romanticism
  • The public developed an ever-expanding appetite for concrete facts and for art that accurately depicted them. As Shi proceeds through the nineteenth century, he traces the realist impulse in each major area of arts and letters, combining an astute analysis of the movement's essential themes with incisive portraits of its leading practitioners. Here we see Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., shaken to stern realism by the horrors of the Civil War; the influence of Walt Whitman on painter Thomas Eakins and architect Louis Sullivan, a leader of the Chicago school; the local-color verisimilitude of Louisa May Alcott and Sarah Orne Jewett; and the impact of urban squalor on intrepid young writers such as Stephen Crane. In the process of surveying nineteenth-century cultural history, Shi provides fascinating insights into the specific concerns of the realist movement - in particular, the nation's growing obsession with gender roles
  • Realism, he observes, was in part an effort to revive masculine virtues in the face of effeminate sentimentality and decorous gentility. By the end of the nineteenth century, realism had displaced idealism as the dominant approach in thought and the arts. During the next two decades, however, a new modernist sensibility challenged the fact-devouring emphasis of realism: "Is it not time," one critic asked, "that we renounce the heresy that it is the function of art to record a fact?" Shi examines why so many Americans answered yes to this question, under influences ranging from psychoanalysis to the First World War. Nuanced, detailed, and comprehensive, Facing Facts provides the definitive account of the realist phenomenon, revealing its essential causes, explaining why it played so great a role in American cultural history, and suggesting why it retains its perennial fascination
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Shi, David E
Dewey number
973
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
E169.1
LC item number
.S5558 1995
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • United States
  • United States
  • Realism
  • United States
  • United States
Label
Facing facts : realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920, David E. Shi
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Autographed copy."
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 309-376) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
pt. I. Setting the Stage. 1. Antebellum Idealism. 2. New Paths -- pt. II. The Generative Forces. 3. Touched with Fire. 4. A Mania for Facts. 5. Goods and Surfaces -- pt. III. Realism Triumphant. 6. Truth in Fiction. 7. Realism on Canvas. 8. Form Follows Function -- pt. IV. Extraordinary Realities. 9. Realism and the Social Question. 10. Savage Realism. 11. A World Full of Fists. 12. Ash Can Realism -- pt. V. An Epoch of Confusion. 13. The Modernist Revolt
Control code
ocm29184878
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 394 pages
Isbn
9780195038927
Lccn
93033716
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)29184878
Label
Facing facts : realism in American thought and culture, 1850-1920, David E. Shi
Publication
Note
"Autographed copy."
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 309-376) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
pt. I. Setting the Stage. 1. Antebellum Idealism. 2. New Paths -- pt. II. The Generative Forces. 3. Touched with Fire. 4. A Mania for Facts. 5. Goods and Surfaces -- pt. III. Realism Triumphant. 6. Truth in Fiction. 7. Realism on Canvas. 8. Form Follows Function -- pt. IV. Extraordinary Realities. 9. Realism and the Social Question. 10. Savage Realism. 11. A World Full of Fists. 12. Ash Can Realism -- pt. V. An Epoch of Confusion. 13. The Modernist Revolt
Control code
ocm29184878
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
x, 394 pages
Isbn
9780195038927
Lccn
93033716
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)29184878

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