Is naturalistic fiction unavoidably sentimental?
Taking my definition of sentimentality, it seems that it must be. Fiction presents a narrative, and makes an implicit claim for significance beyond that which can be sustained with available evidence. This is always true; no plausible claim can be made for the significance of a fictional naturalistic narrative; it is by definition historically false, and as a whole has reference only to itself; and in so far as elements within it are natural it is redundant, since the world from which it selects is there for all to observe in the raw, and can be drawn on to form propositions that serve understanding of that world, rather than drawn on by an attention seeking writer to create a fiction for which claims of high significance are, absurdly, to be made.
Naturalistic fiction is irredeemable.