Again, a ghost from the past:
"Realism emerges in an effort to portray, transform and produce the counterrevolution; le style roman of the 18th century was inadequate to a history of conflict viewed no longer as rivalry, no longer the clash of rival nations or vestigally feudal clans whose rivalry was echoed in the rent impulses of heroes torn between love and honour, or between two incompatible but equally attractive and worthy objects of devotion and desire, but as an increasingly manichean struggle, pitting affirmation against negation, life against death, meaning against confusion, the forces of something against the forces of nothing. And the protagonist's position is adjusted accordingly, a decided split developing and intensifying between characters whose function is principally metaphorical - who begin to perform the textual function of monsters - and those whose function is not, who are created according to new rules of versimilitude to serve as convincing illusions of individuals, balanced between typicality and eccentricity."
"Emerging is the framework of history promoted by the masters of capital, human history as the history of struggle between order (the market as it is advertised, mechanistic and divine) and anarchy (the market as it is, enforced by the violence of proprietors), and the Romeos and Juliets of the post-Revolutionary period will be suffering not from a divided worship of rival and equivalent objects of attachments of various kinds, but between loyalty to the sole manifestation of positivity, threatened by negation, and a third term, a private interest, a private sphere, a self-interest increasingly shrinking to the dimensions of the individual as we know it now, the atomized protagonist in the market." - AvW
Robert Park, The City: Suggestions for the investigation of human behaviour (1915):
“We are mainly indebted to writers of fiction for our more intimate knowledge of contemporary urban life. But the life of our cities demands a more searching and disinterested study than even Emile Zola has given us in his ‘experimental’...
...Because of the opportunity it offers, particularly to the exceptional and abnormal types of man, a great city tends to spread out and lay bare to the public view in a massive manner all the human characters and traits which are ordinarily obscured and suppressed in smaller communities. The city, in short, shows the good and evil in human nature in excess. It is this fact, perhaps, more than any other, which justifies the view that would make the city a laboratory or a clinic in which human nature and social progress may be conveniently and profitably studied.”
Bourgeois fiction codified as the Chicago School of Sociology. A real work of art.