La fiction n’est plus ce qu’elle était. Quelques remarques sur les théories pragmatiques du concept de fiction. Avec une bibliographie des discussions récentes

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At least twenty books and several hundred articles have been published during the last ten years on the subject of the nature of fiction. This article deals with four recent attempts by Genette, Jacquenod, Currie and Steffensen to reformulate the theory, largely on the basis of Searle's feigned assertions, of the semantics of possible worlds, of narratology and of linguistic pragmatism. In these new theories, the notion of referential truth as a criterium of fiction is deemed irrelevant. In this article, on the contrary, it is argued that the criterium of referential truth is the only essential and distinguishing criterium of a fictional text versus a non-fictional text. It is also argued that a theory which does not include this criterium will not stand up to empirical data of real readers. Referential truth, it is finally concluded, is also the only argument that can be put to those who choose to treat fictional texts as factual ones, or to those who want to treat the horrors of this world as fictions.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)317-337
JournalOrbis Litterarum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Publication categoryResearch