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Psychology And Realism In Mimesis Essay

1504 words - 7 pages

In a literary piece, the reenactment of a certain type of reality is directly assimilated by the mimetic criticism of readers, concerning their experiences in the real world, the present world and the literary world. Various postmodernist writers employ this technique in their writings for the purpose of engaging and interacting their readers with the realist ideas they present throughout their work. Reality is presented in different ways so that it essentially influences the reader’s perspective concerning the interpretation an author has about the real world. For this reason, I will follow Theo D’haen and argue that Nabokov and Calvino synthesize the “real” reality of Realism and the “psychological” reality of Modernism to redefine a mimetic reality for their readers, by examining the position of Theo D’haen, the novels: Lolita and In a Winters Night, A Traveler and Gunter Bebauer’s stance on Mimesis.
Theo D’haen, a professor at the University of Leuven, synthesizes that a postmodernist writer is one who uses a “combination of any number of techniques that were seen as innovative and perhaps even transgressive, especially with regard to all forms of referentiality, be it reference to some “real” reality as in realism or to a “psychological” reality as in modernism”(Theo D’haen 272). Following this explanation, the self-reflectiveness, interdependency, parody and mimetic reality that readers are exposed to when reading a metafictional piece, branches into the different interpretations presented by D’haen: a ‘real’ reality and a ‘psychological’ reality. The act of judging any work of art in relation to its representation of reality is a parallel to the reader’s assimilation of a mimetic reality, acknowledged by a physiological thought process or a known verisimilitude. The references of reality an author portrays through writing can be considered as a ‘free choice’ technique where the reader abides to the interpretation presented by the writer. This can be regarded as a type of de-stabilization for the reader since postmodernist writers tend to undermine their readers by challenging their psychological approach of reality. D’haen suggests that a modernist perspective in writing is highly psychological; in a sense that the reality presented by an author greatly affects the readers self-consciousness by helping them recreate their environment. On the other hand, a realist perspective is the portrayal of the real and typical aspects of life without artificial or supernatural events involved. Thus, postmodernist writers, such as Calvino and Nabokov make the use of certain techniques that involve a modernist and realist perspective, to redefine how their readers assimilate the mimetic reality they are presenting.
In Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov creates a mimetic reality for his readers presented by Humbert Humbert. “I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don't really exist if you don't.” (?) As readers, or as juries, like Humber Humbert presents...

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