Uma explicação sobre o que é realismo em ficção. E porque não é o que a maioria pensa. Apareceu nessa resenha do livro “How fiction Works” de James Wood, ainda a ser lançado.
Wood cites American novelist Rick Moody, who says the realistic novel needs “a kick in the ass”, as “it’s politically and philosophically dubious and often dull”. This, argues Wood, is nonsense, and based on a misunderstanding of what realism actually is and what the novel’s relationship to it is. While novels may appear realistic, they are still novels – artifices, whose reality is that which the novelist chooses to present to us.
Great novelists, says Wood, such as Flaubert or Henry James or Saul Bellow, offer their readers a world in which “reality” is not a mirror of the “real” world but of their manufacture. Bad writers do not appreciate this, for “they assume that the world can be described”.
“In America,” Wood adds, “the battle lines are more fiercely drawn up than in Europe because of the tendency on the realist side to be somewhat anti-intellectual and masculinist – that whole sort of post-Hemingway line. A writer I admire, like Richard Ford, say, would probably be thought of by people like writer and academic David Foster Wallace as prehistoric, unintellectual. I don’t think that’s fair. But there has been a tendency in American writing schools to enforce a slightly unthinking realism.