Renaissance Realism: Narrative Images in Literature and Art

Hardcover | January 9, 2003

byAlastair Fowler

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This book questions the assumption of a single realism, the continuous realism of novels. Many suppose that narrative before the novel either looked forward to it or was medieval and allegorical, and compare the introduction of single-point perspective with the rise of the novel. Butcontinuous realism did not arise as soon as perspective was discovered. In actuality, a distinctive sort of Renaissance realism, with its own conventions, was practised from the late Middle Ages to the seventeenth century. Renaissance Realism surveys the history of perspective, showing that it onlygradually came to dominate the western imagination and to become the default assumption for portrayal in the visual arts. Looked at in this way, correlates between literature and art emerge in the depiction of objects and events. Treatment of spatial arrangement and time sequences, for example,closely parallel 'simultaneous narration' in the visual arts.

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This book questions the assumption of a single realism, the continuous realism of novels. Many suppose that narrative before the novel either looked forward to it or was medieval and allegorical, and compare the introduction of single-point perspective with the rise of the novel. Butcontinuous realism did not arise as soon as perspecti...

Professor Alastair Fowler is Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.79 inPublished:January 9, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199259585

ISBN - 13:9780199259588

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of IllustrationsGlossaryAbbreviations1. Objects in space2. Events in time3. Time sequences and schemes4. Narrative assumptions5. Engaged and disengaged spectators6. Britomart and Busirane7. Shakespeare's realism8. ConclusionIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Renaissance Realism is...a valuable investigation of a kind of literary period eye, reminding readers of the fact that no text, visual or written, is comprehensible without a close consideration of contemporary interests and practices.'Sixteenth Century Journal