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It is an attempt to reflect life "as it actually is"--a concept in some ways similar to what the Greeks would call mimesis. .] suggests jackets off, sleeves rolled up, 'no nonsense'" attitudes toward literary art (773).(2) Secondly and more specifically, realism refers to a literary movement in America, Europe, and England that developed out of naturalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Typically, "realism" involves careful description of everyday life, "warts and all," often the lives of middle and lower class characters in the case of socialist realism. Although realism and the concern for aspects of verisimilitude have been components of literary art to one degree or another in nearly all centuries, the term realism also applies more specifically to the tendency to create detailed, probing analyses of the way "things really are," usually involving an emphasis on nearly photographic details, the author's inclusion of in-depth psychological traits for his or her characters, and an attempt to create a literary facsimile of human existence unclouded by convention, cliché, formulaic traits of , sentiment, or the earlier extremes of naturalism.
My distinction, however, is one not generally accepted by literary critics.
Radical innocence was the ability of an adult to maintain a child-like sense of wonder, faith, and goodness in spite of being aware of the cruelties, injustices, and heartaches of the world.
The term has become something of a catchphrase in modernist and postmodernist writings.
Note that the earlier literary movement known as naturalism is often used as a precursor and antonym for realism, even though both literary movements share many similarities.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between naturalism and realism.