Truth in fiction: a reply to New

Matravers, Derek (1997). Truth in fiction: a reply to New. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 55(4) pp. 423–425.



I am grateful for Christopher New providing the opportunity to think further about truth in fiction. I take the issue to be whether a principle can be stated that determines the content of a given fiction, from within the imaginative project in which the person interacting with that fiction is engaged. The first major problem New sees with my account is that it deals with what could reasonably be inferred by a twentieth-century reader and that I give no reason to prefer such a reader to a nineteenth-century one. I do have a reason, but, before giving it, a further difference needs to be clarified.

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