CFP "Hybrid Realism?" American Comparative Literature Association, New Orleans, April 1-4, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Geoff Baker / California State University, Chico
contact email: 



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Hybrid Realism?

Several studies over the
last 30 years have troubled the stereotype of realism as monological and
disciplinary. George Levine, in 1981, emphasizes that "realism posits 'mixed'
conditions," and he has more recently read certain realist novels as staged
duels between competing epistemologies. Marshall Brown, also in 1981, explains
realist narrative as a product of "interplay" between "Jakobson's metonymic and
sequential order" and "metaphorical or substitutional order"; as "the ordered
or hierarchical intersection of contrasting codes"; and as "a structure of
ordered negations perceived within the text quite independently of any
relationship between the text and what is assumed to be its 'world.'" More recently, Lilian Furst has described the realist novel as "a record . . . of a
past social situation and as a
texture made up of verbal signs" which, "far from canceling each other out, . .
. overlap in an inescapable and reciprocally sustaining tension that forms the
core of realism's precarious enterprise." Is realism really a clash of
competing codes? Opposed styles of knowledge? Content that challenges form?

This panel proposes a
discussion of realism as a mixture or hybrid form, or as a product of tension
between various codes, epistemologies, or other narrative modes, or even
between content and form. Submissions dealing with realism in the context of
any period, national literature, or genre, are welcome.

For questions, contact Geoff
Baker at gabaker at To submit a proposal, please visit
and follow instructions for submission.