However, while they have their differences, both these deal with defiance of and the disillusionment with authority. In Faust, the title character is visited by Mephistopheles and has his life dramatically changed as a consequence of a heavenly wager on his life between Mephisto and God. Because of this, Faust enters into a deal with Mephistopheles wherein he is promised anything, as long as he does the same for Mephisto in hell after he dies. From this he gains several things, including youth and his lover Gretchen.
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It was all these things, and much more; so that beside the European not English short story of the same day it appears to suffer from one huge and common defect. In Europe, on the other hand, culture rose readily and naturally to the top of artistic life like so much cream. By contrast with the saloon-bar back-cloths of Bret Harte, the Bowery of Crane, the embittered etchings of Bierce, the literary life and output of Europe appeared richly civilized, smooth, and settled.
In America the writers of the day appear to suffer from a certain common, and quite natural, bewilderment; half their continent is undeveloped, much unexplored; they have not found their feet, and they give the natural impression of needing not only a pen but a compass in their hands.
The literature of that America is amateurish, unorganized, still in its working clothes; that of Europe is civilized, centralized, well dressed. Under these circumstances it would be strange if Europe had not something to offer, in the short-story as well as in literature generally, that America did not and could not possess. It would be surprising indeed if it had not produced at least one short-story writer greater than Poe or O.
It did in fact produce several; but from many distinguished names two stand out as the pillars of the entire structure of the modern short story: Guy de Maupassant, born in , and Anton Pavlovitch Tchehov, born ten years later. During recent years it has become the fashion to divide both exponents and devotees of the short story into two camps, Maupassant fans on the one side, Tchehovites on the other. To some, Maupassant's stories leave a nasty taste in the mouth; to others Tchehov's are unintelligible.
To some the Maupassant method of story-telling is the method par excellence ; to others there is nothing like Tchehov. This sort of faction even found an exponent in Mr. Somerset Maugham, who devoted a large part of a preface to extolling Maupassant at the expense of Tchehov, for no other reason apparently than that he had found in Maupassant a more natural model and master.
Odd as it may seem to the adherent of these two schools, there are many readers, as well as writers, by whom Tchehov and Maupassant are held in equal affection and esteem. Among these I like to number myself. For me Tchehov has had many lessons; but it is significant to note that I learned none of them until I had learned others from Maupassant. I recall a period when both were held for hours under the microscope; and in consequence I have never had any sympathy with the mind that is enthusiastic for one but impatient of the other.
Much of their achievement and life bears an astonishing similarity; the force of their influence, almost equally powerful, has extended farther than that of any other two short-story writers in the world.
Both were popular in their lifetime; both were held in sedate horror by what are known as decent people. Tchehov, they said, would die in a ditch, and it is notable that Maupassant still holds a lurid attraction for the ill-balanced. The differences of Tchehov and Maupassant have therefore, I think, been over-laboured, and in no point so much as that of technique.
Their real point of difference is indeed fundamental, and arises directly not from what they did, but from what they were. For in the final analysis it is not the writer that is important, but the man; not the technician but the character. The personality behind the technician, imposing itself upon the shaping of every technical gesture and yet itself elusive of analysis, is the thing for which there exists no abiding or common formula.
There is no sort of prescription which, however remorselessly followed, will produce a preconceived personality. Thus Tchehov and Maupassant, so alike in many things, are fundamentally worlds apart. Almost each point of similarity, indeed, throws into relief a corresponding point of difference.
Both, for example, sprang from peasant stock; both excelled in the delineation of peasant types. But whereas Maupassant's peasants give the repeated impression of being an avaricious, hard, logical, meanly passionate, and highly suspicious race, Tchehov's give the impression of good-humoured laziness, dreamy ignorance, kindliness, of being the victims of fatalism, of not knowing quite what life is all about.
Again, one of their favourite themes was the crushing or exploitation of a kindly, innocent man by a woman of strong and remorseless personality; in Maupassant the woman would be relentlessly drawn, sharp and heartless as glass; in Tchehov the woman would be seen indirectly through the eyes of a secondary, softer personality, perhaps the man himself.
Similarly both liked to portray a certain type of weak, stupid, thoughtless woman, a sort of yes-woman who can unwittingly impose tragedy or happiness on others. Both writers knew a very wide world teeming with a vast number of types: Their clientele was enormous; yet the attitude of Maupassant towards that clientele gives the impression, constantly, of being that of a lawyer; his interest and sympathy are detached, cold, objectively directed; the impression is often that, in spite of his energy and carefully simulated interest, he is really wondering if there is not something he can get out of it.
Is the woman frail? Has the man money? It is not uncommon for Maupassant to laugh at his people, or to give the impression of despising them, both effects being slightly repellent. I only present them as they are. His is by no means the attitude of the lawyer, but of the doctor—very naturally, since his first profession was medicine—holding the patient's hand by the bedside.
His receptivity, his capacity for compassion, are both enormous. But how did they come to this, how did it happen? There may be some trivial thing that will explain. In Maupassant's case the importance of that key would have been inexorably driven home; but as we turn to ask of Tchehov if we have caught his meaning aright it is to discover that we must answer that question for ourselves—for Tchehov has gone.
Inquisitiveness, the tireless exercise of a sublime curiosity about human affairs, is one of the foremost essentials of the writer. It is a gift which both Maupassant and Tchehov possessed in abundance.
But both possessed, in a very fine degree, a second dominant quality, a sort of corrective, which may be defined as a refined sense of impatience. One of the directest results of inquisitiveness is garrulity; perhaps the worst of society's minor parasites are not nosey-parkers, but those who will not stop talking. We are all gossips by nature; it is an excellent gift to know when to hold the tongue.
Too few writers have a sense of personal impatience with their own voice, but it was a sixth sense to Maupassant and Tchehov, as it is in some degree to every short-story writer of importance at all. Both knew to perfection when they had said enough; an acute instinct continually reminded them of the fatal tedium of explanation, of going on a second too long. In Tchehov this sense of impatience, almost a fear, caused him frequently to stop speaking, as it were, in mid-air.
It was this which gave his stories an air of remaining unfinished, of leaving the reader to his own explanations, of imposing on each story's end a note of suspense so abrupt and yet refined that it produced on the reader an effect of delayed shock. It is very unlikely, of course, that Tchehov was wholly unaware of this gift, or that he did not use it consciously.
Yet if writers are only partly conscious of the means by which they create their effects, as it seems fairly obvious they are, then what appears to be one of Tchehov's supreme technical gifts may only be the natural manifestation of something in the man. From his letters you get the impression that Tchehov was a man of the highest intelligence, personal charm, and sensibility, a man who was extremely wise and patient with the failings of others, but who above all hated the thought of boring others by the imposition of his own personality.
Most of his life he was a sick man, deprived for long intervals of the intellectual stimulus and gaiety he loved so much, yet he never gives an impression of self-pity but rather of self-effacement. Tchehov's charm, the light balance of his mind, and his natural gift of corrective impatience were bound to be reflected in the style he used, and it is impossible to imagine Tchehov writing in that heavy, indigestible, cold-pork fashion so characteristic of much English fiction of his own day.
In describing the countryside, the scenery, the weather, for example, Tchehov again exhibits a natural impatience with the obvious prevailing mode of scenic description; in his letters he shows this to be a conscious impatience, and condemns what he calls anthropomorphism: In that sense, perhaps more than any other, Maupassant and Tchehov are much alike.
Both are masters in what might be called the art of distillation, of compressing into the fewest, clearest possible syllables the spirit and essence of a scene. Both were capable in a very fine degree of a highly sensuous reaction to place.
Both, more important still, were capable of transmitting it to the page:. The tall grass, among which the yellow dandelions rose up like streaks of yellow light, was of a vivid fresh spring green. Beyond the poplar stretches of wheat extended like a bright yellow carpet from the road to the top of the hills. Of these two descriptions, so simple and yet so vivid pictorially and atmospherically, each creating its effect in the same number of words, it would be hard to say at random which was Tchehov and which Maupassant: The words are like clear, warm, delicate paint.
Contrast their effect with what Mr. It was a spot which returned upon the memory of those who loved it with an aspect of peculiar and kindly congruity. Smiling champaigns of flowers and fruit hardly do this, for they are permanently harmonious only with the existence of better reputation as to its issues than the present.
What are we listening to? Hardy is not painting a picture, but is talking about what he sincerely believes to be a description of a picture. His failure is highly pompous, entirely uninstructive, and unconsciously amusing. It is not even the failure of a man trying to paint a small canvas with a whitewash brush; it is the failure of a man trying to paint a picture with a dictionary.
Neither Maupassant nor Tchehov was ever guilty of this mistake; neither was a dictionary man. From both one gets the impression that they might never have kept such a thing as a dictionary in the house. The style of both conforms consistently to a beautiful standard of simplicity—direct, apparently artless, sometimes almost child-like, but never superficial.
Free Realism papers, essays, and research papers. The Transition between Romantic Era to Realism Movement - In the late eighteenth century, a movement spread throughout the world that was known as the Romantic Era.
Here is your essay on Realism: Aristotle is recognised as the Father of Realism. To understand the philosophy of realism, it is necessary to examine the conditions prevalent in the middle Ages. In the middle Ages the bookish and unreal knowledge was the order of the day in Europe. Consequently there was a wide gap [ ].
The following entry presents criticism on the representation of realism in world short fiction literature. Viewed as a reaction to romanticism, literary realism is written from an objective. Originally published in the s, these essays on realism, expressionism, and modernism in literature present Lukacs's side of the controversy among Marxist writers and critics now known as the Lukacs-Brecht debate. The book also includes an exchange of letters between LukÃ¡cs, writing in exile in the Soviet Union, and the German Communist novelist, Anna Seghers, in which they discuss.
The theory of realism emphasizes on objectivity and being indifferent, along with unemotional social criticism. By critically referring to minute details. Realism comes in many forms, for example, scientific realism is the belief that all truth can be found in the subject of science and the laws of Physics, a lot of people would disagree with this however.