George Eliot World Literature Analysis - Essay

George Eliot World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In a series of 1856 essays for the Westminster Review, George Eliot (the name she sent to Blackwood in 1857) formulates the theories of literary art that would shape the fiction she began writing in September of that year. Revealing the influence of Honoré de Balzac and French criticism, she explains “realism,” a relatively new aesthetic concept to her English audience. The context is her praise for John Ruskin’s Modern Painters (1843-1860); it teaches “the truth of infinite value,” or “realism—the doctrine that all truth and beauty” lie in art that represents “definite, substantial reality,” not “vague forms, bred by imagination on the mists of feeling.” She was to write instead of the...

(The entire section is 3803 words.)