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Publication Details

The Functions of Fictional Narrative and the Reader’s Activity

(Original title: Funkcie fikčného naratívu a konanie čitateľa)
Filozofia, 70 (2015), 8, 670-679.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Slovak

The study deals with the reference of fictional narrative and the theoretical conceptualization of the reader’s activity. It is a response to a study by the philosopher Petr Koťátko, in which he argues that a narrative fictional text (as well as any other text) directs our thinking and imagination at a real world. Thereby Petr Koťátko disputes the theory of ontologically independent fictional worlds. The result of the comparison of both approaches is the author’s belief, that there is a tension between Petr Koťátko’s attempt to simplify the fictional reference and the substantial feature of the fictional narrative reader’s activity. The reader has to act in two ways (like in a game): on one hand he believes, that what he reads really happens, on the other hand he understands, that what he reads is a fiction. Constant relating text and reality to each other using the operator “as if“ (Petr Koťátko) rather disturbs the game-like character of the activity (especially when reading non-mimetic texts). On the contrary the theory of fictional worlds (Marie-Laure Ryan, Lubomír Doležel) takes into account two levels of the reader’s activity.


Fictional worlds, Literary functions, Reference of fictional narrative, Theory of fictional worlds

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