This is especially true of free indirect discourse and grammatical anomalies of spatial and temporal deictics. In a novel, a new point of view need not correspond to a new referent of the first person and hence to a new text. Edward Snowden is the subject of Oliver Stone's new movie, "Snowden," which premieres in theaters on Sep. 16, 2016. particularly works of fiction, such as novels, poems, plays, etc. Krakauer in 2011 attacked Mortenson's mega-bestselling book "Three Cups of Tea" as "an intricately wrought work of fiction presented as fact." But it is important to bear in mind, firstly, that some types of fiction assign “fictive” properties and actions to proper names that refer to existing entities. As Currie and Ravenscroft (2002) have shown, both options are open, depending on the structure of the text. In classical philosophy, “fiction” was often used to designate what we today would call a cognitive illusion (Wolf → Illusion (Aesthetic)). III and X) and a little later in Aristotle’s Poetics, develop two quite divergent conceptions which have structured Western attitudes toward fiction up to this day. ... Schaeffer, J.-M. (2009). Thus a narrative in which every sentence is true (referentially) and which nevertheless pretends to be a fiction would not be easily accepted as a fiction. This is the case for example of the subgenre of counterfactual novels which, like counterfactual history (see Ferguson ed. A work that is nonfiction is a recounting of real events. They invite an analysis of fictional narrative in terms of direct simulation of imaginary universes presented perspectively and (on the side of the reader) in terms of immersion (see Ryan 2001: 89–171). It is important to distinguish the question of the structural function of intentionality from that of the communication of that intentionality. Active 5 years, 5 months ago. perspective (Schaeffer 1998: 148–66, 1999: 179–97). (shelved 1 time as factual-fiction) avg rating 4.09 — 17,347 ratings — published 2017 Abstract Using Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels as case study, this article presents a cognitive approach to fictionality and authorial intention using Text World Theory and Mind-Modelling. Most advocates of semantic definitions of the fact/fiction dichotomy give a positive answer to this question: the proper name Napoleon, when used in the novel, does not refer to the real Napoleon but to some fictional counterpart (e.g. Session I (Plenary): Factual vs. Fictional Narrative Chair: Matías Martínez 32 Stephan Packard: Factualities and their Dependence on the Concept of the Fictional 10 Monika Fludernik:Factual Narration in Narratology 11 Marie-Laure Ryan: Factuality vs. Fictionality in Different Media 39 Françoise Lavocat: Do Signposts of Factuality Exist? According to Searle, public representations only possess derived intentionality, which implies that mental intentionality is not transparent across minds: it has to be communicated by conventional means, i.e. Therefore, fictional sentences are “unspeakable.” In fact, Banfield’s “E-level shifter” is functionally equivalent to Hamburger’s floating “narrative function” which can move freely between different “I-origins.”. If such were the case, and if these linguistic anomalies were to be read as a co-optation of language by fictional simulation, this would imply that at some deep level the immersion induced by verbal narrative is never only propositional, but also phenomenological and imaginative. The principal reason why this assimilation is impossible is that the mental experience induced by an artistic fiction and its validation are very different from those of a thought experiment, for the attitude adopted when creating or reading a thought experiment is an attitude of logical discrimination: we have to verify its formal validity, determine whether or not it is conclusive, think about how its relevance could be increased or refuted, etc. (eds. Possible worlds theories of fiction therefore do not claim that fictional truth is more general than factual truth: it is simply true in another world or universe. ... ing use of dialect features in factual versus personal narra- For example, in myth and its corresponding reality, people can be endowed with powers nobody would imagine them having in everyday life. This means that narrative fictions, contrary to cognitive fictions, should not produce real-world beliefs (even if in fact they sometimes do: fiction has its own pathologies). Does narrative fiction induce immersion through mimetic primers feigning descriptive utterances, or simply through a perspectively organized mentally centered and phenomenologically saturated presentation of a universe? This means not only that, according to Aristotle, mimesis triggers cognitive powers of a different kind from those of history, but also that these powers are of a higher order than those of factual discourse. It has also been objected to Searle that his definition of fiction as intended playful pretense is unable to explain the fact that many texts intended to be factual end up being read as fictions. This would imply that the pair fact/fiction is logically heterogeneous. For example, in “The Wizard of Oz,” a portion of the story occurs inside Dorothy’s mind which is embedded within her “home” life in Kansas. These “deviations” are not the result of conscious stipulations or decisions, but rather they have arisen slowly out of the practice of writing fiction. it is constrained by the necessity of correctly identifying and assessing the real properties of the person whose mental states are being simulated as well as by the context in which that person is found. The same holds for fiction. The difficulty of getting a clear picture of the distinction between factual and fictional narrative results in part from a long history of shifting uses of the term “fiction.” The sense which is most current today—that of a representation portraying an imaginary/invented universe or world—is not its original nor its historically most prominent domain of reference. Secondly, historical persons and descriptions of their real historical actions figure prominently in fictional texts, as in historical novels that often contain a fair amount of factual information. by a comparison between behaviors predicted by the simulation and an actually occurring behavior). The best-known theories that seek to define fiction on a syntactic level have been elaborated by Hamburger ([1957] 1973) and Banfield (1982). Among other things, mental representations triggered by fictional simulation are not fed into real-world feedback loops. On the side of the reader, they activate an immersive dynamics: the reader “slips into” the characters, experiencing the fictional world as it is seen perspectively by the characters from within or sometimes, as Banfield suggests, from a point of view that remains “empty” (in terms of a specific “I”). Is the Bible Fact or Fiction? The classical models by Genette (1972, 1983) and Stanzel (1964, 1979), for example, were general narratologies whose sole input was fictional texts. To rule out ontological realism, it would be necessary to show independently that the constructive nature of discourse in general or of narrative in particular makes them fictional or at least implies a “fictionalizing” dynamics. The text (in its syntactic and semantic dimensions) remains the same whatever the type of pragmatic attitude, but the use to which it is put will differ according to the pragmatic attitude (see Hume [1739] 1992: Bk I, Pt III, Sec VII). Indeed, fiction, and its species narrative fiction, are best understood as a specific way of producing and using mental representations and semiotic devices, be they verbal or not. Architecture and Design; Arts; Asian and Pacific Studies; Business and Economics; ... Fictional vs. Interestingly, the second sense of the Latin term fictio did not put emphasis on the playful dimension of the act of pretending. Narration is the use of a written or spoken commentary to convey a story to an audience. The difference between factual and fictional narrative as far as simulation is concerned could thus be explained by the fact that once narrative is liberated from the epistemic constraints of truth value, the real aim of the immersive process becomes how to maximize it. The semantic definition of the distinction between factual and fictional narrative is the most classical one. Even if it is willfully false (as is the case if it is a lie), what determines its truth or its untruth is not its (hidden) pragmatic intention, but that which is in fact the case. One could object to this common-sense assertion that not all societies produce fictional narratives and that often the socially most important narratives, notably myths, cannot be accounted for in terms of the dichotomy between fact and fiction. To state the difference more bluntly: a thought experiment is an experimental device of a logical nature, a suppositional or counterfactual propositional universe intended to help resolve a philosophical problem; an artistic fiction, by contrast, invites mental or perceptual immersion in an invented universe, engaging the reader or the spectator on an affective level with the persons and events that are depicted or described. These models being ontologically holistic, it can be said, for example, that a narrative in which Napoleon wins the battle of Waterloo is not an example of outright falsehood, but refers to a possible world in which Napoleon wins the battle of Waterloo. This is a “reductionist” move which underestimates the importance of theater, i.e. In this sense, deceptive fiction resembles cognitive fiction. So if it is true that fictional intention cannot define fiction as a pragmatic stance, it is nevertheless the existence of a shared intention which explains the fact that the emergence of fictional devices has the cultural and technical history it has. a photograph makes reference claims without being of a discursive nature). The conditions for satisfying the criteria of fictional narrative are pragmatic: the truth claims a text would make if it (the same text, from the syntactic point of view) were a factual text (be these claims true or false) must be bracketed out. It must include an introduction, a climax and a conclusion. The best-known theories that seek to define fiction on a syntactic level have been elaborated by Hamburger (1957) and Banfield (1982). One could object to this common-sense assertion that not all societies produce fictional narratives and that often the socially most important narratives, notably myths, cannot be accounted for in terms of the dichotomy between fact and fiction. 1997), ascribe fictional actions to historical persons (e.g. Whatever the answer, it is difficult to distinguish counterfactual fiction from counterfactual history on these grounds. These “deviations” are not the result of conscious stipulations or decisions, but rather they have arisen slowly out of the practice of writing fiction. Even so, this does not necessarily mean that a semantic definition of fiction is workable. Three major competing definitions have been proposed: (a) semantic definition: factual narrative is referential whereas fictional narrative has no reference (at least not in “our” world); (b) syntactic definition: factual narrative and fictional narrative can be distinguished by their logico-linguistic syntax; (c) pragmatic definition: factual narrative advances claims of referential truthfulness whereas fictional narrative advances no such claims. Fact came from the Latin word “factum” meaning “event or occurrence or something done”. According to Searle, public representations only possess derived intentionality, which implies that mental intentionality is not transparent across minds: it has to be communicated by conventional means, i.e. The pragmatic definition of fiction also highlights the difference between narrative fiction qua playful or artistic fiction and the types of fiction which are tied to the question of truth value and belief. To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty. La narration littéraire ne sert pas seulement à configurer le temps mais aussi à éprouver mentalement et à réfléchir la référence croisée entre l’historiographie et le récit de fiction aussi bien que celle entre le monde de l’action et les structures narratives. This means not only that, according to Aristotle, mimesis triggers cognitive powers of a different kind from those of history, but also that these powers are of a higher order than those of factual discourse. Narratives are accounts of past events, either real or fictional. (2010). III and X) and a little later in Aristotle’s Poetics, develop two quite divergent conceptions which have structured Western attitudes toward fiction up to this day. More generally, it would be necessary to accept the counterintuitive conclusion that most fictional texts fall short of the definition of fiction. The stories lead the readers from one storyto the other and establish the context for an embedded narrative. treated as serious and referring to some reality), even if believing in its truth enters into conflict with what in another ontological domain is accepted as truthful. using verbal or other signals. Fact: Believe it or not, this is true! It is primarily related to creative writing. She develops a “grammatical definition” (Banfield 1982, 2002) of the genre “novel,” which in fact is a definition of internally focalized heterodiegetic fiction. Electrons and other elementary particles have been called “fictions” in this sense. Positive ending. The term fiction has also often been used to designate willful acts of deception intended to be misleading or to produce false beliefs. The interplay of the semantic, syntactic and pragmatic aspects of fictionality need to be further clarified. It’s the rarest mode of narration in literature. Historically (at least in Western culture), the key concept for analyzing and describing fiction in the sense of artistic and, more specifically, narrative fiction has not been the Latin concept of fictio, but the Greek concept of mimesis. Mind reading has a strong epistemic component: (a) it simulates the mental states of a really existing person; (b) simulation must reproduce that person’s intentional states in a reliable way, i.e. 1997), ascribe fictional actions to historical persons (e.g. reliable narration. Fact is defined as a piece of information about a circumstance that existed or events that have occurred. 117-page narrative based on fact w/fictional characters about the 9/11 cover-up. Definition. Zipfel 2001), since semantic definitions (with the exception of possible worlds semantic definitions: see Doležel 1999) are by necessity “segregationist” (Pavel 1986: 11–7). Does it lose its truth value when it is integrated into a novel? However, this seems counterintuitive, for in a historical novel it is important for the reader that the proper names referring to historical persons really do refer to the historical persons as he knows them outside of fiction, and not to some fictional homonym of those real persons (see Searle [1975] 1979). “Fiction,” used this way, does not designate something known to be non-existent, but is rather the hypothetical postulation of an operative entity whose ontological status remains indeterminate. To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty. the profane as distinct from the sacred). The textual passages which Banfield calls “pure narration,” and which correspond to Plato’s haple diegesis, are a case in point. This does not mean that make-believe beliefs do not play into the inferential processes concerning real-world situations, but that this “playing into” is pretty much indirect. To rule out ontological realism, it would be necessary to show independently that the constructive nature of discourse in general or of narrative in particular makes them fictional or at least implies a “fictionalizing” dynamics. A more important criticism is that Searle’s pragmatic definition is only negative: it tells us what fiction is not, but not what fiction is. Reading in a factual mode engaged an activation pattern suggesting an action-based reconstruction of the events depicted in a story. Hühn, Peter et al. The textual passages which Banfield calls “pure narration,” and which correspond to Plato’s haple diegesis, are a case in point. Fact or fiction explained CHERNOBYL has become a worldwide hit with HBO and Sky viewers as it tells the story of the 1986 nuclear disaster. Finally, the term is also used to designate thought experiments. The principal reason why this assimilation is impossible is that the mental experience induced by a narrative fiction and its validation are very different from those of a thought experiment, for the attitude adopted when creating or reading a thought experiment is an attitude of logical discrimination: we have to verify its formal validity, determine whether or not it is conclusive, think about how its relevance could be increased or refuted, etc. The notion of simulation and its cognate immersion seem especially fruitful and may well lead to a better understanding of both the distinction between fact and fiction in narrative and their interplay. Electrons and other elementary particles have been called “fictions” in this sense. The theory was intended to be valid for all narratives, although in reality the classical narratologists drew only on fictional texts. It could therefore be hypothesized that they are the result of deep-level linguistic rearrangements due to cognitive-representational pressures stemming from the immersive process of mental simulation. Autofiction can be seen as a special case of such counterfactual fictions. On the contrary, during most of its long history, “fiction,” stemming from the second sense of the Latin meaning, was used in reference to serious ways of pretending, postulating, or hypothesizing. 30,00 € / $42.00 / £23.00. Factual narrative is a species of referential representation, just as fictional narrative is a species of non-factual representation. The movie (based on a book by Michael Lewis) tells the story of Michael Oher, a black NFL lineman who was adopted by a white Southern family when he was a homeless teenager. First, not every verbal utterance is narrative, nor is every referential utterance narrative. So Searle’s thesis is compatible with the fact that fictional texts and factual texts generally differ syntactically. It investigates two forms of ontological distortion: readers’ (mis)classification of the novels’ genre (as autofiction or autobiography) and the problem posed by the author’s pseudonymic identity. The Validity of the Fact/Fiction Opposition, Fact and Fiction, Narrative and Non-narrative, The Semantic Definition of the Fact/Fiction Difference, The Pragmatic Status of Narrative Fiction: Imagination and Playful Pretense, Simulation, Immersion and the Fact/Fiction Divide. It has also been objected to Searle that his definition of fiction as intended playful pretense is unable to explain the fact that many texts intended to be factual end up being read as fictions. This is especially true of free indirect discourse and grammatical anomalies of spatial and temporal deictics. The relationship between narratology (Meister → Narratology) and theory of fiction long remained non-existent, in part because classical narratology rarely addressed the question of the fact/fiction difference. The pragmatic definition of fiction also highlights the difference between narrative fiction qua playful or artistic fiction and the types of fiction which are tied to the question of truth value and belief. Narrative fiction qua artistic fiction is not opposed to truth in the way cognitive illusion, error, and manipulation are opposed to truth, nor is it constrained by real-world truth conditions in the way the suppositional and counterfactual fictions of thought experiments are. Both theories define fictional narrative by syntactic traits which, in theory, are excluded from factual narrative. In the case of fictional simulation, however, the agents and actions are invented in and through the process of simulation. Long-form journalism often pays. Walton is surely right, but Searle’s interest lies primarily in the canonical public status of narrative fiction, and most of the time narrative texts which publicly function as props in a game of make-believe or as playful pretenses are intended to function in this way and, more importantly, have been specifically designed to do so. Could it be that the mental specificity of fictional narrative is to be found in mental simulation? Types of fiction include plays, stories and poems. In the case of fictional simulation, however, the agents and actions are invented in and through the process of simulation. But the fact that discourse in general, and narrative discourse in particular, are constructions does not by itself disqualify ontological realism or the distinction between fact and fiction. It is merely saying the information that is verified to be true or had actually occurred. Learn more. But is it the same Napoleon? “Fiction,” used this way, does not designate something known to be non-existent, but is rather the hypothetical postulation of an operative entity whose ontological status remains indeterminate. Nevertheless, narrative immersion is not limited to fiction. treated as serious and referring to some reality), even if believing in its truth enters into conflict with what in another ontological domain is accepted as truthful. In recent years, theories of fiction and narratology have been renewed by cognitive science (David Herman → Cognitive Narratology). In fact, the first two important discussions of mimesis, in Plato’s Republic (1974: chap. It was defended by Frege in his famous “On Sense and Reference” (1892) and by Russell in the no less famous “On Denoting” (1905), two seminal papers of 20th-century philosophical theories of reference. It is important, therefore, that the problem of the distinction between factual and fictional narrative be placed in its wider context. But the fact that discourse in general, and narrative discourse in particular, are constructions does not by itself disqualify ontological realism or the distinction between fact and fiction. If such were the case, and if these linguistic anomalies were to be read as a cooptation of language by fictional simulation, this would imply that at some deep level the immersion induced by verbal narrative is never only propositional, but also phenomenological and imaginative. & Patrick D. Murphy, eds. However, there is no consensus as to the rationale of this opposition. Hume used the term in this sense when he spoke about causality or about a unified self, calling them “fictions” (Hume [1739] 1992: Bk I, Pt IV, Sec VI). The fact that the evolution of third-person fiction has given rise to techniques for neutralizing the enunciative anchoring of sentences could be interpreted as a symptom of the fact that narration as such induces this type of phenomenological immersion. As shown by Veyne ([1983] 1988), the social construction of “truthful discourse” posits an array of “truth programs” linked to various ontological domains (e.g. Speaking about stories and myths, he distinguishes between: (a) a pure story (haple diegesis), in which the poet speaks in his own name (as in dithyrambs) without pretending to be someone else; (b) a story by mimesis (imitation), in which the poet speaks through his characters (as in tragedy and comedy), meaning that he pretends to be someone else; (c) a mixed form combining the two previous forms (as in epic poetry, where pure narration is mixed with characters’ discourse). : Comparison of Personal and Fictional Narratives 195 (Bamberg, 1994, pp. The conditions for satisfying the criteria of factual narrative are semantic: a factual narrative is either true or false. The living handbook of narratology invites you to become actively involved in further developing and enhancing our handbook – you can do so by discussing existing entries and making suggestions as to how they might be enhanced, or by pointing out emerging fields of narratological interest that might warrant a new entry in our handbook. Fiction is generally fabricated entirely by the author, while nonfiction is a factual account. The conditions for satisfying the criteria of factual narrative are semantic: a factual narrative is either true or false. Another point where simulation theories could be illuminating concerns the ongoing debate in narrative studies as to whether, as is the case in factual narrative, narrative (heterodiegetic) fiction implies the existence of a narrator or not (Margolin → Narrator). the probable or necessary relations between events), while history only expresses the particular (that which has happened): history relates the life of the individual Alcibiades, while poetry is a mimetic rendering of the typical actions that an Alcibiades-like individual would probably or by necessity carry out (1996: chap. If we take a broad historical and intercultural outlook, it appears that heterodiegetic fictions without any element of formal mimesis in third-person factual narrative are relatively rare except in some 19th-century fiction and, more frequently, in the 20th-century fiction. Theoretical fictions are postulated entities whose ontological status remains unclear but which operate in real-world cognitive commitments. To create an automatic citation reference for a paragraph, select the relevant passage in the article with your mouse, then copy and paste the reference from this text box: © Interdisciplinary Center for Narratology, University of Hamburg. Autofiction can be seen as a special case of such counterfactual fictions. Hitler winning World War II). In other words, its “felicity conditions” are tied primarily to its immersion-inducing effectiveness and to its capacity for producing an aesthetically satisfying experience of its mimetic and artifactual properties. Narration could be in the form of a great movie involving a tiger family, a nature lover shoots with his movie camera in the jungle adding his commentary in between to explain the events. Revision of Fictional vs. A pragmatic theory of narrative fiction was implicitly defended by Hume. This proof has never been delivered, and so the common-sense hypothesis remains the default option. It is part of the definition of a cognitive fiction that it is not experienced as a fiction. It was only at a later stage that narratologists explicitly investigated the relationship between narrative techniques and the fictionality/factuality distinction (Genette 1991; Cohn 1999). A blend of historical fact and fiction has been used in various forms since narrative began with sagas and epic poems. In fact, he only claims that syntactical markers of fictionality are neither necessary (a fictional text can be textually indistinguishable from a factual counterpart) nor sufficient (a factual text may use fictional techniques). An artistic fiction, by contrast, is experienced as a fiction. But at least in real-life situations, the distinction between factual and fictional narrative seems to be unavoidable, since mistaking a fictional narrative for a factual one (or vice versa) can have dramatic consequences. Since fiction and false begin with the same letter, we can easily remember that fiction is false, even if it is an excellent and well-crafted story. factual vs. counterfactual (untrue) vs. non-factual ('what is commonly believed' to nomizómenon) ≈ myth, fiction von Contzen: auctoritas vs. experience genres Detering/Maierhofer: inventio 'true history' genre (from Lucian's Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα) pseudo-factual narratives (2) Cross-Cultural Comparisons -- see also Lavocat (2016) Walton argues that fictional intention cannot be a defining property of fiction: a fiction is any object which serves as a prop in a game of make-believe, meaning that a fiction is a fiction because it functions as such independently of the question of whether or not somebody intended it to function in that way. This does not imply that there is no distinction between fact and fiction, but that what counts as a fact may be relative to a specific “truth program.”. As shown by Veyne (1983), the social construction of “truthful discourse” posits an array of “truth programs” linked to various ontological domains (e.g. It would then be possible to arrive at a purely “formal” definition of the two domains. COVID-19 vaccine: Fact vs. Fiction Lead hospital epidemiologist addresses vaccine safety, dosing, immunity, availability For the fact/fiction problem, only one is of interest: according to Aristotle, mimesis is a specific form of cognition. So the difference is the following: in the case of theoretical fictions, fictionality is due to the fact that the ontological status (theoretical terms/real entities) of the entities is indeterminate; in the case of narrative fictions, fictionality is due to the fact that the entities are not inferentially linked to real-world existential propositions. This situation is of course impossible in real-life communication, where each point of view is tied to a specific person. 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