Possible Worlds in Literary Theory

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Cambridge University Press, May 26, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 244 pages
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The concept of possible worlds, originally introduced in philosophical logic, has recently gained interdisciplinary influence; it proves to be a productive tool when borrowed by literary theory to explain the notion of fictional worlds. In this book Ruth Ronen develops a comparative reading of the use of possible worlds in philosophy and in literary theory, and offers an analysis of the way the concept contributes to our understanding of fictionality and the structure and ontology of fictional worlds. Dr Ronen suggests a new set of criteria for the definition of fictionality, making rigorous distinctions between fictional and possible worlds; and through specific studies of domains within fictional worlds - events, objects, time, and point of view - she proposes a radical rethinking of the problem of fictionality in general and fictional narrativity in particular.
 

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Contents

Possible worlds fictional worlds
17
The philosophical notion of possible worlds and its basic relevance to fictional worlds
18
Philosophers approach to fiction
30
Possible worlds in a wider context
34
The possibility of fictional worlds
47
Possibility and actuality
48
Accessibility
61
Possible worlds between the disciplines again
71
Fictional events and the intricacies of plot
144
Plotmodels and their object of investigation
150
Plotmodels and structuralist ideology
156
Narrative semantics from syntactic to semantic plotmodels
165
Plot as a constellation of possible worlds
167
Focalization and fictional perspective
175
Focalization on the fictional world
179
Types of organization that focalization imposes on fictional domains
184

The fictionality of fictional worlds
76
The pragmatics of fiction its ontological logical and epistemological distinctive features
87
The autonomy of fiction and the concept of world
96
Fictional entities incomplete beings
108
The incompleteness of fictional entities
114
Are fictional entities equally incomplete?
122
Theories of naming and the completeness of entities
130
Definitization of entities and the completeness of fictional objects
136
Types of organization that narrative modalities impose on fictional domains
191
Fictional time
197
The analogy between time of fiction and time of actuality
199
The reliance of temporality of fiction on the modal operation of temporal concepts
202
Conclusion
229
Bibliography
231
Index
240
Copyright

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Spaces of Hope
David Harvey
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About the author (1994)

Ruth Ronen is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Tel Aviv University.

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