Content and Characters

Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen

in Truth, Fiction, and Literature

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236818
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679377 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

Content and Characters

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Works of fiction might, of course, elicit any kind of response from their readers. These might be utterly idiosyncratic, resting on associations of ideas, personal recollections, emotional and psychological reactions; they might be dictated by expectations of genre and tradition, and in general they might involve different degrees of understanding and misunderstanding. In certain respects there might also be gender-relative and culture-relative responses. This chapter distinguishes those responses constitutive of fiction per se from those merely connected causally to particular works or those associated with specific genres or specific kinds of readers. It aims to characterize those responses conventionally determined by the practice of fiction, responses ‘appropriate’ to fiction.

Keywords: constitutive response; fiction; fictive utterance; reader's response

Chapter.  11535 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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