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Faculty of Philosophy


Seminar with Andreas Stokke (Uppsala/Oxford) on Fictional Metarepresentation in Non-Fiction

Thursday 27th February, 3.30-5pm
Raised Faculty Building
Seminar Room 207 (MML)

Fictional Metarepresentation in Non-Fiction

A metarepresentation is a representation of a representation. Standard forms include ways of reporting thoughts or utterances, chiefly through direct discourse (DD), indirect discourse (ID), or free indirect discourse (FID). Fictional metarepresentations are representations (or reports) of fictional thoughts or utterances. Obvious instances occur as representations (or reports) of the thoughts or utterances of fictional characters in novels, movies, or plays. This paper draws attention to the under-exposed phenomenon of fictional metarepresentations occurring within non-fictional discourse. I survey a number of examples involving DD and FID. Typically, in these cases, a thought or utterance is attributed to a non-fictional individual, e.g. Julius Caesar, while it is obvious that the use of metarepresentational forms (DD or FID) does not convey an actual report. I argue that these examples are best understood as setting up small-scale fictions from which audiences are expected to learn something about the actual world.

All welcome!

Thursday, 27 February, 2020 - 15:30 to 17:00