How to Create a Fictional Character

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
How to Create a Fictional Character

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This chapter discusses the ontological status of fictional characters and the logical constraints on creating characters. Drawing on Jerrold Levinson's arguments for the creation of musical works, it proposes that fictional characters are initiated types, grounded in acts of storytelling, although not essentially bound to any one, even if tied to a reasonably determinate historico-cultural context. Character identity is interest-relative and a character's variant identity conditions determine which of its properties are essential. Fictional characters are created just to the extent that their grounding narratives are created, narratives which allow for indexicality in character identification. The literary dimension is also explored, accommodating symbolic, value-laden, and interpretation-dependent factors.

Keywords: fictional characters; Levinson; character identity; interest-relative; narratives

Chapter.  7739 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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