?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Realism and Naturalism - The Ex-Communicator

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile

January 7th, 2010


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
09:33 pm - Realism and Naturalism
I was putting together some thoughts on realism and naturalism and I read a post on Everything is Nice by Martin on realism and naturalism in dialogue. So, that says a lot of it better and saves me the job.

The way I use the words (I'm not saying it's the only way), is that naturalism is when the dialogue or plot feels natural, and realism is where it might really be true. I think BB feels natural but it isn't realistic. Deadwood is the same I guess. The things that happen would not really happen, they are heightened and shaped, but they happen in a natural-feeling way. And to be honest real life often feels a bit like that to me.

When I posted a couple of weeks ago, before I'd finished watching season 2, I made a lot of predictions, and then I deleted them all before I posted. Now I'm sorry I did that, because my predictions were all wrong.

I said that I thought the main characters were protected, like the protagonists of an ancient comedy, from the worst. I used the phrase 'Deus Ex Machina' and predicted certain things would not happen. But in fact they happened, and the main writer in this interview for example, uses the phrase 'Lucifer ex Machina' to describe the final episode. Of course that's just as unrealistic as everything going right, but it can be just as uplifting.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:azdak
Date:January 8th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The way I use the words (I'm not saying it's the only way), is that naturalism is when the dialogue or plot feels natural, and realism is where it might really be true.

I think it would be helpful to preserve the distinction - as the Everything is Nice bloke does - between "natural" and "naturalism". Because while you can, of course, choose to use words to mean whatever you want, it does get rather confusing, and "naturalism" has a fairly distinguished history as a particular kind of literary and theatrical tradition that essentially does attempt to evoke the way people really speak/dress/move/act (and Martin says that's precisely what he doesn't mean by "natural"). I won't quibble with your use of "realism" because that is already used to mean so many different things that any use of it has to come with Author's Notes attached anyway.

I actually find "clunky", which he rails against, a more useful term. When something - be it plot or dialogue - is clunky, you can see the author's hand at work, forcing the words or the events to go the way they want to convey a particular message. "Natural" would be the opposite of that, when the artifice is cunningly disguised so your attention isn't drawn to the contrivance. Is that what you mean by events happening "in a natural-feeling way" (unforced, uncontrived), or am I totally missing the point?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:January 8th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's partly just avoidance of contrivance. But another thing I am interested in is the way that dialogue on telly is based on how people talk to each other on the telly, and so on back into the mists of time, never actually touching base with how people really speak or act.

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com