In Defence of Realism  

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“A bracing counterblast to the post-modernizing gibberish of contemporary literary theory.” — The Spectator

"Many of the acknowledged giants of contemporary fiction - Beckett, Pynchon, Barthelme, Borges and Marquez, to name a few - are committed to the creation of non-worlds, dream-worlds, word-worlds or anti-worlds." --page 2

"In Not Saussure, I examined the claims made by post-Saussurean thinkers about the relationship between language, the self and reality. [...] In particular, I investigated the claim that words could not refer to a genuinely extra-linguistic reality. I was able to establish that most of the celebrated post-Saussurean assertions -" "there is no outside the text"; "all texts are about other texts"; "the world of words creates the world of things", etc. - are based on serious misreadings of Saussure." --In Defence of Realism, page 3

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In Defence of Realism (1998) is a book by Raymond Tallis with criticism of postmodernism.


In Defence of Realism is a powerful indictment of the fog of bad philosophy and worse linguistics that has shrouded much contemporary literary theory and criticism. Raymond Tallis, one of the most important critics of post-Saussurean literary theory in the English-speaking world, examines the reasons often cited by critics and theorists for believing that realism in fiction is impossible and verisimilitude a mere literary “effect.” He trenchantly shows not only that the arguments of critics hostile to realism are invalid, but that even if they were sound, they would apply equally to anti-realist fiction, indeed to all intelligible discourse.

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