A lively and distinctive look at realism in great modern books and art
Realist Vision exploresthe claim to represent the world “as it is.” Peter Brooks takes a new look at the realist tradition and its intense interest in the visual. Discussing major English and French novels and paintings from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Brooks provides a lively and perceptive view of the realist project.
Centering each chapter on a single novel or group of paintings, Brooks examines the “invention” of realism beginning with Balzac and Dickens, its apogee in the work of such as Flaubert, Eliot, and Zola, and its continuing force in James and modernists such as Woolf. He considers also the painting of Courbet, Manet, Caillebotte, Tissot, and Lucian Freud, and such recent phenomena as “photorealism” and “reality TV.”
“Brooks makes these authors come alive. Reading about them and their work is like reading a good novel. This is a culminating text by a real pro, in the best sense of the word. It comes from the heart, but there are years of scholarly work and critical engagement behind it.”—Linda Nochlin, Lila Acheson Wallace Professor of Modern Art at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts