Book

Facing Facts

David E. Shi

Published in print July 1996 | ISBN: 9780195106534
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854097 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195106534.001.0001
Facing Facts

Show Summary Details

Preview

This book provides a history of the rise of realism in American culture. It 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. It begins with a look at the idealist atmosphere of the antebellum years, when otherwordly themes are considered the only fit subject for art. Whitman's assault on these standards coincided with sweeping changes in American society: the bloody Civil War, the aggressive advance of a modern scientific spirit, the popularity of photography, the expansion of cities, capitalism, and the middle class—all worked to shake the foundations of genteel idealism and sentimental romanticism. Both artists and the public developed an ever-expanding appetite for hard facts, and for art that accurately depicted them. As the book proceeds through the 19th century, it traces the realist revolution in each major area of arts and letters, combining an 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.

Keywords: realism; culture; Walt Whitman; idealism; sentimental romanticism; realist revolution; Thomas Eakins; Louis Sullivan; Louisa May Alcott; Oliver Wendell Holmes

Book.  405 pages.  Illustrated.

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Antebellum Idealism in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

New Paths in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Touched with Fire in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

A Mania for Facts in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Goods and Surfaces in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Truth in Fiction in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Realism on Canvas in Facing Facts

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.