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kathryn williams

on 15 January 2015

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Transcript of Verisimilitude

The way in which the concept is accepted today was mainly developed by 19th century writers who rooted their novels deeply into realism.
Created very real plots, characters and settings.
Now, there are a couple different takes and variations on the concept but are all centered around the same main idea
Versions of the theory include: credibility in terms of the reader, credibility in terms of the book itself and the distinction between literature as art and/or cultural tool
Art form vs Cultural Construction
Without aspects of verisimilitude the reader can understand the work in terms of art but not culturally.
In relation to this idea, reality was forced to catch up to the art work instead of the art form being strictly rooted in reality
The greek concept was expanded upon in the Renaissance period particularly in regards to Italian poetry because of the desire to express fiction with a theory.
Lodovico Castelvetro was influence in this process.
Lead to the idea of vriasemblance
believable in regards to society
believable in regards to audience
believable in regards to literature
"The non dramatic poet had only words with which to imitate words and things, but the dramatic poet could use words to imitate words, things to imitate things and people to imitate people"
Lodovico Castelvetro
In terms of the reader
In terms of the book
important because the novel began to be viewed holistically instead of distinct parts
it was seen as a closed fictional world in which its own rules and laws could be established
in this way the book only had to be believable in terms of itself and not in terms of actual reality
The concept draws from the Platonic and Aristotelian idea of Mimesis
Mimesis was a concept that stated for a work of art to have any significance it must be rooted in nature
Grew out of a critic from the theater and the misleading nature of the art forms.
Within Greek society the concept was associated with beauty and good.
After Plato's death the concept became very heavily associated with literature
Was also viewed in connection with the idea of decorum.
goal was to create a pleasurable and engaging experience for the reader.
focused on the audiences willingness to "suspend his/her disbelief"
to achieve this, a fictional work had to have some sort of root in the truth or reality
would reflect realistic aspects of human life.
problems with this theory which lead to the development of the theory in terms of the book itself.
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