To be specified published in:Landscapes of Realism: Rethinking literary realism in comparative perspectives. Volume I: Mapping realism
Edited by Dirk Göttsche, Rosa Mucignat and Robert Weninger
[Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages XXXII] 2021
► pp. 577–595
The polyphony of late nineteenth-century Baltic realism
Taking a comparative literary approach, this exploratory essay traces the polyphony of late nineteenth-century realism in the rapidly developing literary field that comprises Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian literatures. It highlights both the traditional and innovative aspects of literary style in the oeuvre of the most important authors, such as Eduard Vilde in Estonia, Rūdolfs Blaumanis in Latvia, and Žemaitė in Lithuania, usually considered pioneers of realism in their respective cultures. Baltic literatures are deeply embedded in the development of European literatures and during the period of realism also started to make innovative contributions to the world republic of letters. Diverse aspects – such as the social contexts of Baltic literary cultures; the coexistence of different modes of representation during the last decade of the nineteenth century; the competing representations of the countryside and the city; the growing self-reflexivity and subjectivity of the characters – all point toward the variety of literary strategies in late nineteenth-century Baltic literatures. This case study traces the relationships between realism, romanticism and nation building; realism, sentimentalism and popular culture; realism and naturalism; as well as realism and modernism.
Keywords: realism, naturalism, modernism, Baltic literatures, Estonian literature, Latvian literature, Lithuanian literature, Eduard Vilde, Rūdolfs Blaumanis, Žemaitė
- Realism, romanticism and nation-building
- Popular culture, translation and the role of the press
- From journalism to realism: Eduard Vilde’s literary tourism
- The overlap of realism and naturalism
- Realism and modernism
Published online: 21 April 2021
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