Talk:Romantic realism

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Old unsectioned comments[edit]

Other than "Ayn Rand" which has a reference, where are the references that indicate the artists are "Romantic Realists"? Looks to me like opinion. (not signed)

These artists who are listed as Romantic Realists should be removed. If there are to be any at all (which is worth debate, since Ayn Rand, if she were still around, might regard it as trading on her name, since the reason for this article is because it is a detail of her esthetic philosophy. Pejman definitely does not meet Rand's criteria (specifically, artwork that is expressive of a volitional state of being -- which is hard to attribute to most paintings anyway). Petrov might, but it's hard to see his work, to make a judgment. Newberry probably characterizes himself that way, though as a personal opinion I don't think most of his work fits the category. Rand of course is a Romantic realist, though even she said her work was sometimes not exactly that category. And Gaetano, I can't say one way or the other, since I haven't seen his work; though being a cover artist for Rand's novel isn't a necessary admission price to that style of art -- but I leave that one open. Thus I would argue that for sure #1 should be removed. Johngillis (talk) 19:31, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Quotes section[edit]

The quotes section in here needs to go; wikipedia is not a random collection of quotes. TallNapoleon (talk) 03:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Multiple problems with this article[edit]

While it's undisputed that Ayn Rand used the term "romantic realism" in reference to her own fiction, there are no references in this article to support the existence of a school or movement incorporating Joseph Conrad, Liam O'Flaherty, Ayn Rand and the other artists mentioned, let alone associating them with Goebbel's conception of Nazi art. The first sentence purporting to define the term has no citation to support it, and generally the article seems to be OR - more specifically an original synthesis arguing that authors who have used the term "romantic realism" at different times, in different ways, are discussing a unified artistic movement.

Unless there are citations out which provide support for the synthesis, I think this article should be proposed for deletion.KD Tries Again (talk) 14:02, 1 June 2009 (UTC)KD Tries Again

Notability and original research/synthesis are two different problems. I have zero doubt that there is sufficient notability to the idea of "romantic realism" in literature. You can see this for yourself if you search for some of the works cited in the article using Google Books. There are scholars who apply the term to a number of 19th century writers on the basis (oversimplifying quite a bit here) of them bringing realistic detail and characterization to romantic plotlines and themes. Rand explicitly discussed 19th-century romanticism and related herself to it, so she is relevant, although perhaps given more weight in the current article than a neutral survey of the subject would have.
That said, authors on the subject rarely give compact definitions of 'romantic realism' and often mention the difficulty of pinning down the terms 'romantic', 'realist' and 'romantic realist' due to the different ways they have been used. Some of the oddities you perceive in the article (Nazi art, for example) relate to this varying usage. There is also a significant difficulty in trying to coordinate the meaning of the term across different art forms, as the use of terms in painting and music can be entirely different from their use in literature. If there is a single article on the subject then it should acknowledge the different conceptions of the term, rather than forcing one, especially in the lead. But it is entirely possible to have an article that addresses multiple uses of a term, even when there is contention among them. See Libertarianism, for example, which acknowledges the range of meanings in its lead. Alas, the current version of the article does not do this, but instead takes a Rand-influenced conception of the term and projects it onto the subject as if it were definitive rather than one prominent author's perspective. That's bad, but entirely separate from the question of notability.
In short, let's not confuse a badly written article for an article that should not exist. This is a notable topic deserving of a better article. --RL0919 (talk) 17:00, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I did a bit of a re-write to get the article started in the right direction (IMO). I don't think I'm particularly qualified to take it a lot farther without doing a bunch of research, so hopefully someone else can step in. Since this article is naturally within the scope of a number of other projects (WikiProject Philosophy and WikiProject Literature come to mind), perhaps someone could be recruited with expertise on this sort of thing? Also, my thinking is that the Rand template shouldn't be at the bottom of this article, any more than it is at the bottom of the articles for Rational egoism or Capitalism. 'Romantic realism' is a term Rand took from existing usage, not something she invented. --RL0919 (talk) 23:49, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, taking a course on the culture of Fascism last semester, I could not help being struck that Nazi art in particular (and Fascist aesthetics in general) has some very strong parallels with Rand's esthetics, and I know some commentators have remarked that Rand's writing has similarities in common with fascist esthetics. I'll see if I can dig up some sources tonight. TallNapoleon (talk) 01:09, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I respect the attempt to improve the article, but I find myself in fairly strong disagreement with the premise of notability. I humbly claim some qualifications here, and the problem as I see it is this: yes, Romanticism and Realism are traditionally taken to be opposed aesthetic terms; for this very reason, criticism has also identified multiple cases in which romanticism and realism come into conjunction. Hugo was a leading figure in the late Romantic movement; there's substantial realism in novels like Les Miserables and Toilers of the Sea. Zola was famously in the vanguard of realism; followers of Zola like Maupassant and Huysmans introduced (quite different) Romantic themes into their work. There was a nascent school of realism which sprang from late Romantic decadence in England, represented for example by Hubert Crackanthorpe.
The reason I am lecturing like this is just to show that Wikipedia articles can't be written this way. Conjunctions of Romanticism and realism in literature - let alone the arts generally - are manifold; it's a huge subject. What this article needs, if deserves to exist, is evidence that published authorities - authors of reliable critical works identify a school called Romantic realism. I don't think it's enough that one critic calls Dostoevsky a Romantic realist, another calls O'Flaherty a Romantic realist. Where can we find literature on Romantic realism itself? It's not for us to develop support for the claim that such a movement exists. I should add that one valid use seems to be as a term referring to the Hudson River School of painters, unmentioned in the existing article. (If this link works, the comments in this book are relevant.)KD Tries Again (talk) 02:49, 2 June 2009 (UTC)KD Tries Again
I don't see why something must be a "movement" in order to be a notable subject. It seems entirely sufficient for it to be a genre, a category or even an attribute. There have quite obviously been "published authorities" writing about the romantic realism of various artists, and in some cases artists claiming the label for themselves, so the prima facie case seems to be that this is a real subject, regardless of whether it is a "movement" or not. The strongest case I could see being made against it would be if there is no coherence to the uses of the term, for instance if each person writing about "romantic realism" is making up the term on an ad hoc basis without it being related to the prior uses.
The business about painters raises another concern, however, which is that the term 'romantic realism' could be used to mean entirely different things in different artistic fields (literature, painting, etc.). In which case the article as it stands is really about "Romantic realism (literature)". --RL0919 (talk) 03:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it occurred to me we might at least need a disambiguation page, but my point is that we lack any source which identifies a coherence in the use of the term by these various authors, which means the article is currently a synthesis of those sources by WP editors.KD Tries Again (talk) 14:14, 2 June 2009 (UTC)KD Tries Again

I truncated the new opening definition, which itself I suspect is not taken from any sources. I don't know much about O'Flaherty, but I am convinced the novels of Dostoevsky and Conrad - our other two supposed examples of romantic realists in literature - do not have "mythical" elements, and who are the romantic heroes in Dostoevsky and Conrad? Raskolnikov? Lord Jim?KD Tries Again (talk) 21:03, 3 June 2009 (UTC)KD Tries Again

I see that most of the discussion is under the "Literature" heading, but the term also has long standing in visual art criticism. For example, American Art of Our Century, Lloyd Goodrich, John I. H. Baur; Praeger, 1961, has a chapter (14) devoted to this movement: "Romantic realism, long a powerful movement in American painting, has unquestionably waned since 1940. It has never disappeared, and some of its finest examples are recent ones, but it is significant that most of the paintings reproduced here are by artists now dead or well past their middle years.... At its best, it is a form of realism modified to express a romantic attitude or meaning, but it has often escaped into what is just "good painting"--the sensuous manipulation of paint and painterly effects in a display of technical virtuosity." page 121 Also, some of the items under the literature heading seem to be about painting - specifically the Goebbels reference, and the reference to "artists" rather than writers. Something needs to be done about that.jenright —Preceding undated comment added 18:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC).

George J. Becker, in his book Realism in Modern Literature (Frederick Ungar, NY, 1980), writes specifically about "romantic realism" on pages 102-103. "Essentially exhibiting a paradox, this term has come into being among critics and historians in an attempt to characterize writing of the nineteenth century which is incompletely realistic.... In other words, subject matter and technique may be in line with the major impulses of realism, but the basic philosophical assumptions have not been adopted." In brief, he thinks they are realistic on the surface, romantic underneath. I think this goes to the statement, in an earlier version of this article, that romantic realism is basically a variety of romanticism. On this basis, apparently, Becker would like to use a different term for such writers: "This is not realism, and one wonders if it would not be wise to discard the term." I suppose the alternate candidate would be "realistic romanticism", but from a Google search that seems to have much less usage among critics and historians.Jenright (talk) 19:13, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Becker's commentary isn't likely to lead to a change in the name of the article (if that is even what you were suggesting), but his views are material that might be added to the article. --RL0919 (talk) 19:51, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
RL0919, thanks for your thoughts. I agree that there should be no changing of the article name. I think you are right that some of Becker's views might be added to the article. It is a disputed article, so I want to edit carefully to maintain a neutral point of view and avoid original synthesis.Jenright (talk) 22:12, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Big question: are the Multiple Problems gone? It looks to me like all the article's claims are referenced to reliable sources. This result was achieved by removing some things and documenting many others. Am I missing anything? Have we cleaned it up enough to remove the "Multiple Problems" notice? Thanks for your thoughts. Jenright (talk) 04:46, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I would say that as a general rule, tags that seem stale (tag is several months old, the article seems to have been changed to address the issue, and there is no recent talk page discussion about it) should be removed. If someone thinks the issue still exists, the tag can easily be re-applied. --RL0919 (talk) 14:46, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
RL0919, again thanks for your thoughts. I went ahead and removed the "multiple problems" tag.Jenright (talk) 22:45, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Someone has added a lot of material on 10 Aug 2011, much but not all of it about Ayn Rand. A lot of it looks like original research or opinion. Much of it is not actually about romantic realism in particular. Some of it is about "black realism" which is claimed to be a variety of romantic realism, but without citation. I think we need to be wary of overloading this article with material about Ayn Rand. Detailed discussion of her theoretical writings about art are probably better handled in an article about her philosophy.Jenright (talk) 04:14, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

I propose that the article be reverted to either the 10 May 2011 version or the 18:49 2 Mar 2011 verson. The chief difference between those two versions is that TallNapolean eliminated some description of Rand's position.Jenright (talk) 11:26, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Rather than simply revert the article, I tried to improve it. I deleted what I saw as the original research and opinion on Ayn Rand that had recently been added. But I added a specific quotation from her explaining what she saw as the method of Romantic Realism. And I added a link to the Wikipedia sub-article on her aesthetic philosophy. If you look at her aesthetic writings, she has relatively few comments about Romantic Realism in particular, even though she considers most of her fiction as belonging to that school. (Notably, she classifies Night of January 16th not as Romantic Realism but as Romantic Symbolism.)Jenright (talk) 17:26, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

No Strawmen[edit]

I think it is a bit odd to start off by saying that romanticism and realism are customarily seen as opposed to each other, if we don't give even a single example of any signifcant aestehtician, literary theoriest, etc. who has seen them so. I'm sure you could find someone appropriate -- Paul Elmer More seems like a plausible candidate. But without an actual reference here this looks like setting up a strawman. --Christofurio (talk) 17:32, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Christofurio, I thought your point was valid, so I added a reference to Lascelles Abercrombie, who I found was frequently cited as a proponent of a strong opposition between Romanticism and Realism, particularly in literary discussions of romanticism. Also, I softened the claim that the 2 schools were "typically" seen as opposed, and substituted a claim that they were "often" seen as opposed. It's easy to find people stating that they are opposed, but I do not know how we could establish that such a view is truly typical.Jenright (talk) 01:50, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
And now I have also added a Paul Elmer More reference, from a book he coauthored. Christofurio, thank you for that suggestion.Jenright (talk) 02:12, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. That's a much better beginning for the article. Personally, I don't think of romanticism and realism as opposed exactly, and don't think that dichotomizing of them is typical either. Realism is often seen (as for example by Jacques Barzun, cited in this article) as a sort of late romanticism, one of the directions in which romanticism over time may develop. In this respect, realism's antonym is symbolism, the other and opposed direction in which romanticism may develop. Symbolism and realism are the sibling rivals in the romantic family, whereas classicism and modernism are different families altogether. That, at least, is the classification of such terms with which I'm most familiar. But, hey, just some PoV there. --Christofurio (talk) 13:16, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Cordair Gallery[edit]

In the See Also section, I removed a link to a non-existent Wikipedia article on the Quent Cordair Fine Art gallery. It appears an article once existed, but was deleted due to concerns about lack of notability. The gallery puts itself forward as a purveyor of romantic realist artworks, so I can see the connection to the article, but having a link to a non-existent Wikipedia article doesn't really make sense. Perhaps the gallery is notable enough for a Wikipedia article, but I guess someone would need to write it and, if challenged, make a case for notability.Jenright (talk) 05:54, 17 December 2012 (UTC)