Fiction and Narrative

Matravers, Derek (2014). Fiction and Narrative. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Abstract

This book argues that there is no special link between fiction and the imagination. It follows that most current work in the Philosophy of Fiction is misguided. The book begins by arguing that Kendall Walton’s analogy between children’s game of make-believe and fiction does not work. It moves on to argue that, even by its own lights, the current consensus on fiction is wrong as the account of the imagination it uses is not linked to fiction, but rather to representations more generally. An alternative account of understanding representations (whether fictional or non-fictional) is attempted by drawing on work in psychology, particularly the psychology of text processing. Various problems (the ‘paradox of fiction’, impossible fictions, narrators in fiction, and ‘the problem of imaginative resistance’) are and either solved or dissolved. Finally, as a coda, it is argued that the imagination has no place in our engagement with film

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