Truth-Claiming in Fiction. Towards a Poetics of Literary Assertion
In the contemporary analytic philosophy of literature and especially literary theory, the paradigmatic way of understanding the beliefs and attitudes expressed in works of literary narrative fiction is to attribute them to an implied author, an entity which the literary critic Wayne C. Booth introduced in his influential study The Rhetoric of Fiction. The aim of this paper is to suggest that although the implied author sheds light on certain type of literary narratives, it is insufficient in a so-called conversational interpretation, which emphasizes the truth-claims conveyed by a fiction. In my paper, I shall show that, first, from an ontological point of view, truth-claims or actual assertions in fiction, if any, have to be attributed to the actual author and, second, that the question of truth-claiming in and by fiction is an epistemological matter concerning the actual intentions of the author.
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