“Dickens” was my first answer to the puzzle clue “giant of realist fiction.” Unfortunately as the puzzle answers progressed, Dickens was apparently not the correct answer.
Steinbeck (John) was my first thought being American and all. But Steinbeck clearly didn’t fit the seven-letter answer.
Giving up Dickens was difficult but as with any puzzle play, I had to accept it. It was time to go you-know-where: Russia.
Tolstoy (Leo) fit both in being seven letters and merged nicely with the rest of the puzzle (Dells’ Anacrostic for the puzzle junkies out there). Yes, Tolstoy was also a “giant of realist fiction.”
There are many authors in the world, past and present, who can be labeled “realist;” way too many to cover in a blog. Let’s take five biggies and see what it takes to be a “giant of realist fiction.” We’ll cross the continents because time and place can make many “realist” who might otherwise want to be something else.
Let’s take a look at these giants of realist fiction. They are among the many that arise with a search of “realist fiction authors.”
5. Leo Tolstoy
Two Steps to Becoming a Giant Realist Author
Step one: Have problems in love.
None of the five authors under observation have what you’d might call “luck in love.” Venus represents our sense of pleasure and is related to those we find attractive and whether or not others find us attractive in return. As these authors are male and likely heterosexual, we can see Venus as their romantic relationships with females.
Balzac had Venus/Mars/Saturn in Cancer. Venus and Mars are in close conjunction but Saturn is not. Yet this indicates not only distance and rejection from family life, but a sense of not belonging and not being accepted by women. In today’s parlance Balzac had “mother issues.”
Dickens had Pluto conjunct Venus in Pisces square moon/Neptune in Sagittarius. This suggests the “bad romance” that Lady Gaga with moon/Pluto aspect sings about. Most likely with this mutable square romance involved victimization, drug abuse, delusional behavior and rescuing-redeeming others. I hadn’t realized Dickens had these issues but did an online search and verified his extensive drug use.
Murakami has Venus in passionate Sagittarius opposite moon/Uranus in Gemini. This, my friends, is similar to the US president with moon in Sagittarius opposite sun/Uranus in Gemini. With Murakami’s Capricorn sun, you might say he can be passionate but doesn’t really stick around to say “good morning.” Unlike some of the other giants of realist fiction, Murakami is probably less bothered by his chillier love life than the other authors.
Steinbeck had Mercury/Venus conjunct in Aquarius suggesting an intellectual and fraternal love life. Yet Steinbeck’s sun/Mars in Pisces and moon in Scorpio suggest deep longing for connection. His chart suggests that the love of his life was remote or inaccessible; that he couldn’t cross the boundary of emotional love with intellectual love. Reading this letter about love authored by Steinbeck, he seems to have separated the two types of love nicely.
Tolstoy was probably the most conflicted in love. This sun/Mercury/moon in Virgo author was probably a lot like Felix Unger in the Odd Couple – neat, clean, eccentric, nitpicky. But with too much energy in Virgo, he could have become the opposite of this OCD-type energy and appear disorganized. Tolstoy’s Venus is conjunct Saturn in Leo suggesting great passion toward females with great rejection attached. Poor guy. But I suppose he was meant to be a “giant of realist fiction” and not a “giant of passionate romance.”
Step two: Have some earth or water in your chart
There are four elements to western astrology – fire (spirit, energy), earth (practical, tangible), air (social, ideas), and water (emotions, connection). Most of us have some balance of elements. If you’re learning astrology, this is a good place to start to understand your friends and loved ones. You’ll find interesting things like your family is full of fire energy and you are earth. Or you are fiery and your family is all watery emotional.
For our authors, there’s a good dose of earth and water.
Balzac had sun and Mercury in fixed earth sign Taurus. I’ve only read a couple of his novels and do recall talk of money and lotteries. Taurus is focused on the tangible here and now of life. It’s also the sign most able to accept the here and now as it is, face value. That’s a good thing as it creates inner calm. Opposite Balzac’s Mercury was Neptune in water-sign Scorpio which with three planets in water-sign Cancer as noted above, gave the imagination to write. Neptune in Scorpio with sun in Taurus also leads to lots of sexual fantasy (and action) with a bit of bad debt included.
Dickens actually had a lot of fire (moon/Neptune in Sagittarius) and air energy (sun in Aquarius). But he also had heavy aspects in water (Pluto/Mars in Pisces) and earth (Saturn/Mercury in Capricorn). This wonderfully varied chart created the wonderfully varied characters that Dicken’s is known for. His novel Martin Chuzzlewit, for example, contains all the characters you will meet in a human life.
Murakami is an earth-sign Capricorn sun with Jupiter also in that sign. Saturn is in earth-sign Virgo. Unlike the other realist authors, Murakami has little water. Mars and Mercury are in air-sign Aquarius. My own limited reading of Murakami supports that he may be “realist” but he’s not emotionally connected in the way of, say, Steinbeck who has you feeling what it’s like to cross the country with your family on hungry bellies. Murakami’s “realism” is more of the intellectual sort, saying things others are unwilling to say. His realism involves Aquarian rebellion against Capricorn authority and rules. His moon/Uranus conjunct in air-sign Gemini also bends the rules, does the unexpected. But sun in Capricorn definitely has structure to life, even a seemingly unstructured one.
Steinbeck had sun/Mars in water-sign Pisces with moon in water-sign Scorpio and Saturn in earth-sign Capricorn. Steinbeck is probably the best reading for our current times as Saturn is once again in Capricorn (although it just moved to Aquarius for a few months) as well as Pluto, Jupiter and for a few months Mars. Neptune is in Pisces. Steinbeck documented the emotional context of his times and our time today has a similar energy.
Tolstoy had sun, Mercury and Venus in earth-sign Virgo and Mars, Neptune and Uranus in earth-sign Capricorn. Six of his ten “planets” were in earth. This was one realist of a realist who probably had many Venus in fire-sign Leo dreams that were quashed due to his time and place. But he became a fire-sign limelight-loving Leo through his writing which earned him a fame that lasts forever. Fascinating, isn’t it?
It’s a Great Time to Read Realist Fiction or Write Some of Your Own
Today’s and this year’s energy is filled with earth (Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn (sometimes), Mars (right now) in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus) and water (Neptune in Pisces). Six of the ten planets, as with Tolstoy’s chart, are in (or were in) earth and water. When the sun is in earth and water signs (January, March, May, July, September, and November) there’s even more of this energy. And when the moon is in earth signs every few days, there even is more!
Earth and water everywhere! It’s a great time in general to be a realist, to connect on a physical and emotional level. Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) signs – there’s no need to put aside your dreams, intuitions, and ideas. You just need to find new, unique outlets for your energies.
Become a giant of realist fiction today!