Journal of Semantics (forthcoming)

Daniel Altshuler
Oxford University
Emar Maier
University of Groningen
We propose to characterize imaginative resistance as the failure or unwillingness of the reader to take a fictional description of a deviant reality at face value. The goal of the paper is to explore how readers deal with such a breakdown of the default Face Value interpretation strategy. We posit two distinct interpretative ‘coping’ strategies which help the reader engage with the resistance-inducing fiction by attributing the offending content to one of the fictional characters. We present novel empirical evidence that shows that actual readers use these strategies and we flesh out the exact workings of these strategies by integrating them into a general formal semantic framework for interpreting fiction.
Keywords imaginative resistance  semantics  narrative  discourse relations  fiction
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DOI 10.1093/jos/ffac007
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References found in this work BETA

Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Truth in Fiction.David K. Postscripts to Lewis - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (1):37--46.
The Nature of Fiction.Gregory Currie - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
Logics of Conversation.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.

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