Title of this post comes from Sorrentino, who got it from Williams. The "G.S." in Paterson is Gilbert Sorrentino.
It's pretty much Louis Althusser's definition of ideology, as the imagined relationship to the real circumstances of our lives. Sorrentino uses what we call "metafiction" to talk about the phoniness of his characters' literary aspirations. They are bad poets and novelists. They aren't real (Sorrentino made them up and constantly reminds us of that) and they are "real" in the existential self (they are inauthentic). The only way of coming to terms with reality is to know that your literary constructions are fakery. Realism only takes place in anti-realism, because what we call realism is just conformity to ideological constructions.
Sorrentino hated the Marxist grad students at Stanford. They gave him a hard time because he was too "formalist." But he was a Flaubertian trying to dismantle the "idées reçues" all about him.
Literature presents idealized ideas about our relation to reality. The sensitive poet is one I hate very much. You know, the Mary Oliver-type poem where the speaker waxes sentimental about a deformed cat. That is about as convincing as the whore with a heart of gold, the rugged individualist, etc... All those social types out of central casting. The curmudgeonly boss you are really supposed to love.
Beware of any idealization that is supposed to fuse contraries, or resolve social difference through poetic trope. Beware of "magic realism" or "mestizaje."