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The problem of the fictive stance

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Thomas Wolstenholme
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)27-36
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A novel and insightful understanding of the role of fiction, developed by Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen, claims that when we read fiction we adopt a fictive stance where questions about truth and matter of fact are temporarily suspended. I question this reading by arguing that it fails to account of works which are (for example) satirical and which require, for the fictive plot, the reader to relate an understanding of real-world truths to the fiction. Hence, it cannot simply be that the reader of a work of fiction exclusively adopts a fictive stance as Lamarque and Olsen claim (Lamarque & Olsen, 1994). This has important consequences for the possibility and importance of having be truth-claims in a work of fiction.

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