The Question of Literary Realism

Adorno and the Form of the Novel


  • Mario Farina Università degli Studi di Firenze



Novel, Realism, Adorno, Philosophy of Literature, Aesthetics


The aim of this paper is to investigate the notion of literary realism both in contemporary debate and in aesthetic reflection of nineteenth Century. What I intend to show, in fact, is the possibility to exploit some conceptual tools developed during the last century in the context of German literary aesthetics in order to give an answer to a set of problems deeply bounded to the contemporary discussion. Therefore, I intend to present Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno’s notion of “literary realism” as a possible solution to some problematic refrains in the philosophical investigation of literature. To this aim, I’ll divide my argument in three steps: first of all, I’ll sketch out the basic lines of the historical debate about realism in novels; secondly, I’ll outline Adorno’s notion of realism; thirdly, I’ll try to show to what extent Adorno’s definition could provide an answer to recurring issues in current debates.






Is there truth through literature?

How to Cite

“The Question of Literary Realism: Adorno and the Form of the Novel”. 2019. Aesthetic Investigations 3 (1): 65-82.