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This is the first major study of naturalist fiction as a distinct literary genre. The author focuses mainly on French naturalist literature, but also draws examples from other national traditions, particularly from the English novel. Professor Baguley questions many traditional assumptions on important theoretical issues such as the nature of literary history, the concepts of realism and naturalism, and the relations between science and literature. He also analyzes a number of key works in detail. He demonstrates that, far from merely recording the external aspects of reality, naturalist fiction employs the strategies of realist art to convey a profoundly disturbing vision of that reality.
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