Depressive realism, a new psychological trend


Depressive realism is an artistic and literary current that arises as a reaction against excessive optimism and the idealization of reality that defend other kinds of currents. The defenders of this current seek above all to explore the depths of human experience, showing real life and truth, taking into account both its imperfections and its difficulties.

In the next article we are going to talk in detail of depressive realism, emphasizing its origin, main characteristics and the influence exerted in today's world.

The origins of depressive realism

Depressive realism arose from the artistic and literary movements produced in the 19th century, as is the case of naturalism and realism, which also sought to represent reality in a totally objective way. However, while realism and naturalism focused on the positive aspects of daily life, depressive realism will be characterized by a focus on the darker and more discouraging aspects of human existence.

The birth of depressive realism can be understood in the context of the social, political and cultural changes that took place at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. United industrialization to urbanization and the social and political conflicts of the working class They caused a certain disillusionment and disenchantment to occur in daily life, reflected in numerous works by artists of the time.

What are the main characteristics of the current of depressive realism?

One of the most obvious and clear characteristics of depressive realism is its approach to representing sadness, hopelessness and other negative emotions. The topics that will be discussed in this philosophical current will include loneliness, suffering, loss and lack of meaning in life. The characters will be portrayed as quite vulnerable, weak and fragile beings, fighting against outside forces or facing their own personal problems.

On the other hand, it should be noted that depressive realism is quite direct in all its statements and is stripped of any kind of idealization. The dialogues are quite realistic and often show the lack of real communication between the different characters, which will reflect the lack of communication that often occurs in real life.


How can depressive realism be explained?

Depressive realism can be explained from various perspectives or points of view, which include both historical and social elements as well as more related aspects. with the world of aesthetics and psychology. Below, we show you some ways to explain this philosophical current:

  • Depressive realism arises at a time of profound social, political and cultural changes in the society of the early 20th century. This context of transformation and crisis directly influenced the way in which artists and writers perceived the world.
  • Depressive realism can be understood as a reaction towards the excessive optimism and idealization of reality that characterized some currents of the time. The defenders of this current move away from portraying a sweetened vision of life, based on in the darkest and most complex aspects of human existence.
  • Depressive realism is going to focus on the deep exploration of the human condition. Through their different works, the artists and writers who adopt this trend use themes such as loneliness, suffering or lack of meaning in life.
  • Depressive realism can be seen as a way to achieve greater authenticity and honesty regarding the human condition. Through different works, artists seek to capture the complexity of reality.


The influence of depressive realism in the art world

Depressive realism has had a fairly important influence on the art world: whether in literature, cinema, painting and music. In literature, such prominent writers as Franz Kafka or Albert Camus have been associated with this type of current, exploring different existential and philosophical themes through dark and pessimistic works.

In the case of cinema, directors as Andrei Tarkovsky and Lars von Trier They have been recognized worldwide for their focus on existential themes and for their raw representation of the reality of human beings. Films like "Stalker" and "Melancholia" are notable examples of the trend of depressive realism.

In the field of painting, renowned artists such as Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud have been associated with this philosophical current, creating works where themes such as loneliness or emotional distress play a predominant role.

Some criticisms of depressive realism

While depressive realism has been praised by many for its honesty and ability to capture the complexity of human experience, it has also been the subject of much criticism and controversy. Some critics base themselves on the fact that it is a current which is excessively pessimistic and nihilistic, leaving very little room for positivism. Others, for their part, maintain that depressive realism will reinforce negative stereotypes of life and the human being, completely ignoring the positive and constructive aspects of human existence itself.

In summary, depressive realism is an artistic and literary movement that seeks to represent reality in a raw way, focusing on the darkest aspects of the human experience. This current will emerge as a reaction towards excessive optimism and the idealization of reality. Depressive realism has directly influenced art itself, from literature and cinema to painting and music. Despite being the subject of certain criticisms and controversies, depressive realism continues to be a quite valid way of thinking today. to explore the complexity and depth of the human condition.

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