Matthew Reznicek responds to Dani Green

Just as Mullen understands institutions participating in and depending on the idea of “path dependency,” the adjacent view of naturalism helps challenge the dominant narrative of realism in Victorian studies. Green’s focus on naturalism challenging the dominance of realism helps reveal naturalism as a sort of anti-institutional and anti-historical form, in some ways recalling the preface to the second edition of Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin (1868), in which Zola finds satisfaction with the disgust of the critics precisely because of the anti-institutional approach he takes to representing French society and the human being. We ought not be surprised that Mullen’s discussion of George Moore recalls Zola, whom the Irish novelist admired, but we ought to be grateful for the way in which Mullen’s analysis allows us to reclaim some of Zola’s radical delight and satisfaction at upsetting the institutional framework of the French literary establishment. Indeed, just as Dani Green calls our attention to the role of the “adjacent” in Mullen’s de-centering of realism in favour of naturalism allows us to see not only the anti-institutional impulse of Moore’s writing but also the broader disruptive network in which we might situate late nineteenth-century Irish literature.

John Plotz responds to Dani Green

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