Kirk Pillow

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780195182637
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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This article considers the role of imagination in literary production. It explains that imagination allows us to make present through images what is absent from the present world before us and to reconfigure that world through the image-layering interpretive practice of seeing-as. In literature, imagination richly realizes its capacity to revise the present world by layering a transfiguring other world over it. This article also discusses the ethical imperatives of imagining and suggests that imagination in literature can be considered as a transgressive expression of freedom and as the cultivation of a double vision that not merely shapes fictional worlds but also reshapes our own.

Keywords: imagination; literary production; ethical imperatives; transgressive expression; freedom; fictional worlds

Article.  9993 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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