Fiction ( Latin fictio “design”, “personification”, “fiction” from fingere “design”, “form”, “think up”) describes the creation of a world of its own through literature , film , painting or other forms of representation and handling with such a world. Fiction is an important cultural technique that is used in large parts of art .
To explain fiction, among other things, a lack of truth claims and a lack of agreement with reality are used in literary and art theory . There are many different approaches to explaining fiction. There is still no generally accepted theory of fiction.
Basics of the fictional representation
Although there is no undisputed theory of fiction, it is possible to describe the basic, characteristic properties of the phenomena that are called fiction.
Representation and world
Fiction creates its own world , the so-called " fictional world ". “World” denotes the assumption that one can talk about actions, events, people, places, etc. as if they were subject to those rules of continuity that are assumed to apply to the real world.
The fact that fiction creates a world makes it possible to talk about the fictional events and characters that are not mentioned in the fictional representation. So one can wonder whether a fictional couple will stay together happily “after the story has ended”. For example, one can assume that a fictional character who is first in one place and then in another has traveled between the two places. The continuity expectation can also be used as a targeted design tool. The Marquise von O ... by Heinrich von Kleist provides a very radical example : in this novella a rape is not told; that it happened, but the other events suggest.
For the fictional status of the representation, it is irrelevant how similar a fictional world is to the real one. In fantastic representations, completely different physical laws can prevail than in the real world. In contrast to the real world, however, there is an outside of the fictional world in which the fictional world is generated (by the representation), namely the real world itself. This enables metaleps in which the fictionality of the events in the fictional world is known and for the Presentation is important. For example, the heroine in Sofie's world learns from Jostein Gaarder after a while that she is a character in a novel.
Fictional vs. fictional
In German, the terms fictional and fictional can be distinguished. That which is fictional produces the fictional world, while everything that is in the fictional world is called fictional. Fictionality lies outside of the fictional world, while fictionality denotes the inside. On the other hand, a non-fictional representation that serves to describe the real world is factual. So fictional speech speaks of fictional things, factual speech of real things.
A simple example: while the fictional character Bilbo Baggins is fictional, Tolkien's work The Lord of the Rings is fictional. Because Baggins is not real, but the novel does exist in our reality. However, he tells of a fictional world that contains Baggins.
Cases in which there are intradiegetic narratives are more complicated . For example, Zum wilden Mann by Wilhelm Raabe is a fictional story in which a narrator in turn recites a story. This internal narrative, which is factual for the people in the fictional world of the novella, is just as fictional from the perspective of the reader of Raabe's novella as the entire novella, and what it tells is equally fictional for him.
However, even in specialist literature, the two terms are sometimes confused. In addition, they cannot be translated exactly into English and French . The English fictional designates both fictional and fictional; one also speaks of fictional worlds ; the terms fictive and fictitious mean something like “fictitious”, but are comparatively uncommon. It is similar in French: the term fictif is common and denotes fictional and fictional things ; the word fictionnel is less common than fictif and is mostly used in the sense of "fictional". The comparison with English is made more difficult by the fact that fiction is to be translated as “poetry” rather than “fiction”.
The most important characteristic of fictional representations is that, as a rule, invented events take place in them and invented characters can act. With inventiveness it is meant that certain events, shapes, places etc. in the real world cannot be proven or found in the real world and therefore it must be assumed that they do not exist.
None of the common fictional theories sees inventiveness as a necessary part of fictional representations. There is even the opinion that there can or are fictional representations that do not involve any fictionality. As an example, Waste for All by Rainald Goetz can be used, since all the events in this novel apparently actually took place. Conversely, there is also inventiveness in factual texts (for example in the case of lies ). Fiction is therefore not necessarily related to fiction. Nevertheless, inventiveness is worth mentioning with a view to fiction, since a large number of fictional representations are characterized by a very high degree of inventiveness and inventiveness can be used sensibly and productively, especially in fiction.
Older positions do not distinguish between fiction and inventiveness.
Fantastic and realistic
In the sense of fictional theory, fantasy and realism are terms that refer to the proportion of what is invented or to the similarity between the real and the fictional world. Representations are called fantastic if they have a very high proportion of inventions. Fantastic in the sense of fiction theory is not necessarily to be equated with the genre of fantasy or fantasy , even if these are usually genres that are also fantastic in the sense of fiction theory. Representations are considered realistic if the similarity between the real and the fictional world is very high, i.e. if they have a low proportion of inventions. Realism in the sense of fictional theory is not necessarily linked to the era of realism or to realistic style ( effet de réel ). Confusing the respective lines of meaning often leads to confusion about the meaning of “realism” and “fantastic”.
Invented and not invented figures
There are invented characters in fictional literature such as Don Quixote in Cervantes' novel of the same name . This is characterized by the fact that, according to reliable sources, it never existed. The situation is different as with Napoleon in Les Misérables by Victor Hugo . The Napoleon of the novel corresponds in his biography, his outward appearance and his actions to the real Napoleon, whose history is sufficiently attested by sources.
It may be that non-fictional characters in fictional representations commit fictional acts. Since the identity of real and fictional person can only be inferred from the same or similar curriculum vitae, this situation is a very complicated case - which is by no means rare. Here one has to look at the individual case in order to determine which function the invention has. For example, the table conversations of the Buonaparte family in Napoleon Symphony were invented by Anthony Burgess ; Nevertheless, they serve to illustrate and criticize the historical Napoleon and his deeds.
Fictional and non-fictional places
Places can be made up or not made up. For example, the place Middlemarch was invented in the novel of the same name by George Eliot , while Paris in In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust corresponds very closely to real Paris. Here, too, there are often more complicated mixtures of inventiveness and factual correspondence: For example, invented streets are possible in non-invented cities. In Proust's novel Paris was not invented, but the city of Balbec.
Many places are invented, especially in painting. It is difficult and questionable to distinguish between paintings that are inspired by certain landscapes or people, but are in part invented. Here, as with invented figures, one has to look at the more complicated individual cases. For example, portraits of famous people that differ greatly from the real model are usually not fictional; the deviations then serve to not show external flaws or to show the power or the special character of the person depicted through certain representation techniques.
Other areas of fiction
Since fiction extends to anything that can be represented, there is no exhaustive list of all possible “types” of fiction. For example, invented languages play an important role in the novels of JRR Tolkien .
In recent years a large number of novels have been published that are practically free of invention and deal with the life of the author. These include, for example, Pawel's letters by Monika Maron and the already mentioned novel Waste for All by Rainald Goetz. Gérard Genette suggests the term autofiction , which goes back to Serge Doubrovsky , for this phenomenon . The demarcation from autobiography and other fiction is currently the subject of intense discussion.
Fiction in relation to non-fictional representations
Fictionality is a quality that is attributed to certain representations as a positive characteristic. This means that non-fictional representations by no means form a class that is more or less homogeneous due to certain characteristics. Among the non-fictional representations, the factual representations are particularly important: representations that are to be regarded as an “immediately valid” description of the real world.
How far the distinction between fictional and factual goes has hardly been investigated in the scientific discussion. There are still a large number of theories that assume that representations are either fictional or factual, so there are no other “types”.
A factual representation can evidently be right or wrong. The distinction between factuality and fictionality has nothing to do with the correctness or truth of a determination. False factual reports can be lies , errors etc; And even a fictional narrative can be wrong or at least misleading: Here one speaks of unreliable narration .
In contrast, the immediacy of the factual presentation is of particular importance. It consists in the authenticity of the means of expression, at least in a cautious use of ambiguity, and focuses on conveying facts , i.e. the description of places, people, objects, actions and events. (Of course, this does not mean that a factual description cannot be supplemented with comments or evaluations, but these do not belong to the “representation” anyway.) From the point of view of some post-structuralist positions, however, figure-free language, purely actual speaking, is not possible. If this assumption is accepted, factual speaking can only be understood as a minimization of the amphibolism and as certain semantics that allow an exchange of facts to a large extent, but cannot guarantee it.
The distinction between factual and fictional representations is drawn in many ways. In most cases, the factual representation is considered to be the unmarked normal case; that is, the factual report is usually used if there is no evidence that it is not. This means that the rules of factual representation are worked up indirectly in the fictional theories; they are also the subject of general linguistics .
Under Apolog means a text which, although theatrically and possibly mediated an event may be fictional but still called neither faktual yet. Apologists are difficult to catalog. The category of the apolog is independent of whether it is an artistic representation; there are apologists in poetry, for example, but by no means only there. Two of the most important forms are mentioned below: sacred texts and fables.
Many of the apologists signal a claim to truth, correctness and liability, but they are only valid to a limited extent as direct representations in the sense of factuality.
Sacred texts, also known as holy scriptures , are normative religious texts. Texts with religious significance often contain representations (of events, people, etc.) without these representations being assessed as factual, because they either contradict other passages of the same sacred text or are incompatible with natural laws . Nevertheless, no fictional theory can meaningfully be applied to the sacred texts, provided that one takes their claim to truth seriously. Because sacred texts do not create a fictional world, but deal with the real world; Sacred texts do not speak about inventions, but are either considered historical sources themselves or allow the interpretation that events or figures that cannot be proven symbolically convey a certain truth.
For example, the two accounts of creation in Genesis claim to be true representations of the creation of the earth and man. They both contradict each other with regard to their immediate representation, so that they can neither be a description of the real world nor generate a consistent fictional world. Their truth can - for the believing Christian or Jew - only be determined through exegesis . However, this exegesis can take into account (and this has been the case for a long time) that the representations can at least partially apply as a direct description of the real world (for example, that it is to be taken “literally” that God created exactly one day for the creation of day and night needed).
In fables there are often animals or other beings whose function in the story is to generally designate any person or any person with certain character traits , i.e. a type and not a person . The plot aims to convey a universal moral . In contrast to fictional representations, a fictional world is not created with its own regularities, but the fable artfully encodes its claims about the real world and especially about moral principles.
Fiction and reality
Often “ reality ” and “fiction” are used in everyday language as a pair of opposites. This mode of expression only insufficiently characterizes the relationship between the fictional and real world, because it ignores the various mutual dependencies.
There are very different views in determining what is reality. The considerations on the interactions between fiction and reality can, however, abstract from this, because they deal with the relationship between the fictional and real "world" and thus can hide the underlying ideas of reality.
The fictional world is like the real world as long as nothing to the contrary is indicated by the fictional representation. This phenomenon is called the reality principle. There is also talk of “minimal deviation”: The shape of the fictional world deviates as little as possible from the real one.
This means, for example, that in a novel a rabbit that is reported on has the appearance and behavior of a "normal" rabbit. Only when it is expressly stated that the rabbit can speak for example (as in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ), one can assume that there is a deviation here.
Effect on reality
It can be observed that fictitious conditions are used as suggestions for describing the real world. It is possible that on the one hand complex semantics are formed by fiction, on the other hand simple fictitious facts are mistakenly taken for real. The possibilities of how fictional representations affect reality are extensive and cannot be cataloged.
For example, Niklas Luhmann proves that the fictional literature of the last centuries has had a massive impact on the Western understanding of sexuality, love and partnership. So here it is a question of creating or changing semantics. An example of an erroneous transmission is when a student in a German-language class, after seeing the monumental film Ben Hur by William Wyler , takes the view that German was spoken in ancient Rome . The reason for such a transfer is the loyalty to the real world suggested by the film in terms of clothing, political circumstances and way of life.
It is only recently that fiction theorists have increasingly pointed out that fictional representations have a very lasting effect on the image of reality. Admittedly, there were relevant reviews quite early on (by Bernd W. Seiler), but they have largely gone unnoticed. Only in the last few years has fiction theorists researched the influence of fiction on the image of reality. As a term - complementary to the reality principle - the expression "correality principle" is proposed.
However, literary studies continue to deny in no small part that fictional representations provide correct descriptions of (real) reality. This is due either to a puristic understanding of the world (worlds are separate) or to a rigid concept of truth. Actually occurring transfers of knowledge about the fictional world to the real world are viewed by such positions as violations of rules: For example, anyone who inferred from a movie about reality does not know how to correctly deal with fiction. If one thinks of the above example of inadmissible transmission, classical positions would also claim that a fictional film should not be used to give students an impression of ancient Rome, for example, since fictional representations are "fundamentally" not truthful.
Positions that assume an effect on reality are to be distinguished from those that merely acknowledge that “real” or “real” entities do occur in fictional worlds.
Reality and fiction are not mutually exclusive: even in fictional worlds there is a distinction between fictional and factual representations. Following Elena Esposito, this is called the principle of orthogonality.
For example, the protagonist Emma in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert reads fictional novels. The happening of the novels in the novel is again fictional with respect to the fictional world of Madame Bovary , while Emma and Emma's reading is real in the fictional world.
Fiction and historiography
Prominently and with some exaggeration, Hayden White has pointed out that the structuring of history "smooths" events so much that it resembles fiction. Reinhart Koselleck and Hans Robert Jauß have also voiced comparable theses , but they did not put the thesis in the foreground and thus gained less resonance. The insight is that historiography is organized into narratives because only narratives are able to connect the individual facts logically and chronologically. Narratives suggest causalities or create continuities that regularly cannot be substantiated by the sources , especially if the sources themselves do not make any concrete assumptions about causality. This is a moment of inventing or faking.
According to the majority opinion, the special smoothing that historiography carries out is clearly distinguishable from fiction. Regardless of which current model of fiction is used, modern historiography should not be understood as a fictional representation: It refers to the real world, the historiographer, as author and speaker in the text, takes full responsibility for his assertion and inventions in the text strict sense are not permitted.
The narrative-specific smoothing is an effect of narrative representation and not of fiction. The Hayden-White controversy shows that the demarcation between representation and fictionality has so far been blurred and requires further elaboration.
Reception of fiction
If fiction can be understood as a limited responsibility for utterances and as the creation of fictional worlds, the question arises as to how one can recognize that a representation is fictional. The answer to the question is crucial for the description of the entire behavior in the reception of representations. According to the prevailing view, there are no necessary differences between fictional and non-fictional works on the level of the representation structures (see: Overview of fictional theories). Fictional narration in a novel and factual narration in a circle of friends often differ stylistically , but no style is tied to fictionality or factuality. The problem is not in the inventiveness: a factual narrative can be false and a fictional narrative can exactly correspond to the facts.
Following the “understanding” of fiction, fiction-specific reactions can certainly occur. The differences include, for example, that fictional representations are generally not relied on. (If you watch a fictional historical film , for example , you must by no means be certain that people in the depicted epoch wore exactly the same clothing as the film shows, even if the filmmakers should have taken into account the research on clothing.) In fictional representations Furthermore, the tendency is significantly higher that one is interested in aesthetic questions, especially concerned with the design and the representation technique. (Few readers, on the other hand, are interested in the choice of words that dominate a newspaper text, while a comparatively large number of readers are interested in the linguistic structure of a novel.) However, these are purely social regularities; behaviors change depending on education and occupation. (For example, a journalist may be more interested in the writing technique used for factual reports. Young children do not have a strong ability to watch fictional films from a distance.)
This raises two questions. The first is whether one deals physiologically or cognitively with fictional representations differently than with non-fictional ones. Since one reacts differently to fiction than to non-fiction, the second question that arises is what evidence triggers such a coordinated reaction.
Cognitive handling of fictional representations
Current psychological cognitive research states that fictional representations are cognitively processed no differently than factual ones. However, this does not mean that from a cognitive psychological point of view facts and inventions are treated “equally”. If a representation is marked as fictional, there are definitely social, learnable rules that ensure that fundamentally different behaviors occur during and after viewing a fictional representation than, for example, a factual one. Cognitive psychology confines itself to establishing that when understanding the “content of action” of fictional representations in the brain nothing else happens than when reproducing factual descriptions.
Cognitive psychology is interested in the problem that fictional representations that speak of unpleasant things cause physiological stress . They are therefore - even if the recipient of fictional representations is convinced of the "non-reality" of what is represented - always emotionally effective.
Fictional signals are all characteristics that indicate the fictionality of a work, that is, all characteristics through which fictional texts can be recognized as such. The use of fictional signals is subject to historical change and is conditioned by conventions . The theory of fictional signals goes back to Käte Hamburger and has since been worked out.
A distinction can be made between fictionality signals and fictionality signals. Fictionality signals indicate in the act of creation of the fictional world that it is fiction; so they belong to the real world. (For example, this includes the paratextual reference “ novel ” on the cover of a book.) Fictional signals, on the other hand, are signs of the independence of the world that is being told; fantastic events in particular are almost unequivocal signals of fictionality.
A current case in which the effect of an explicitly indicated intention is being debated is the novel Esra by Maxim Biller . Courts have banned the distribution of the novel because it recognizes two women who see their personal rights violated. It was irrelevant that a paratextual note emphasizes the difference between a fictional and a real person. The Federal Constitutional Court confirmed this case law in its decision.
Fictional signals are, however, to be understood more as heuristic means to approach the assessment of the fictional status. According to the majority of researchers, there are no absolutely clear signals of fiction. It is problematic, for example, if fictional signals are only given by the style or by certain phrases . A classic example is the formula at the beginning of fairy tales : "Once upon a time ..." Even if it is an indication, this formula is occasionally used by journalists, for example, to introduce the factual report of a particularly absurd, fairytale-like event. The tabloid press occasionally reports on very unusual events that contradict the current scientific description of the world , without it being fictional. Religious texts, too, often contradict the physical-biological view of the world without acquiring a fictional status.
Since fictional and factual representations do not differ fundamentally in their structure, confusion can certainly occur with realistic fictions. For example, the Winnetou stories were read by Karl May as factual travelogues, although they were initially referred to as "travel novels"; May only later took advantage of this mistake and also changed the paratextual name to "travel experiences" in order to market the texts as factual reports.
Truth and the Function of Fiction
Truth and fiction
The special relationship between fiction and truth has always been of interest. How one understands the relationship depends on the underlying concept of truth, which in turn can depend on what one understands by art .
Emphatic concept of art
The most important discussion of the relationship between fiction and truth concerns fictional representations insofar as they are viewed as art. This presupposes an emphatic concept of art, above all the idea that art is overly complex and contributes to the acquisition of knowledge. Then not every fictional representation is necessarily artistic and then there is a special “truth in art”. This is expressed in the fact that fictional representations in particular are able to reveal essentials about the world, even if they do this in a poetic or metaphorical way.
The notion that art conveys its own truth already exists in antiquity. For example, Aristotle claims in his Poetics that dramas are more revealing than historiographical texts. Against the background of a modern understanding of fiction, Philip Sidney emphasized in the 16th century that good literature is truer than the factual description. With regard to art, this position was expanded among the Romantics and vigorously represented in the aesthetic theory of the 20th century (with Theodor W. Adorno , Käte Hamburger).
In some cases, out of respect for the logical, scientific or especially natural scientific understanding of truth, the term "truth" is dispensed with and more generally spoken of "knowledge" or the like, for example in philosophy (especially with Nelson Goodman ), in sociology (especially with Niklas Luhmann ) or in brain research (especially with Wolf Singer ). The term “ beauty ” is often suggested as a conceptual option because of the aesthetic tradition .
Truth in the sense of analytic philosophy
In fiction theories close to logic, truth is understood in the sense of propositional logic. As a rule, then - depending on the specific opinion - it applies that fictional speech acts either cannot be assessed with regard to their truthfulness or are incorrect. In the context of these positions it is consequently rejected that fictional representations can be true.
Functions of fiction
There is no agreement about the function of fiction. First of all, the distinction must be drawn between the function of art ; Insofar as a fictional representation is understood as art in the emphatic sense, the fictionality serves the function of art.
The discussion of the function of fiction is thus closely tied to the debate on truth. If one assumes that art contributes to the acquisition of knowledge, then artistic fiction serves to offer testing spaces for world descriptions. Fiction makes it possible to deal with another world and to test reality-related descriptions for suitability. Cognitive psychological approaches assume that fiction offers an opportunity to create your own theory of mind .
Analyzes that do not start from art or reject an emphatic concept of art postulate an entertainment function of fiction. Specifically, fiction allows immersion in foreign worlds and distance from reality ( relaxation ). Some, such as Steven Johnson , argue that fictional products from popular culture train the recipient's cognitive skills.
Fiction in relation to genres and genres
Among the three traditionally differentiated literary genres epic , drama and lyric poetry , fictional texts can be found very often, at least in epic and dramatic works. In particular, the novel , the short story and the novella are considered fictional and their generic names on the book cover as a signal of fictionality.
It is controversial whether poetry is fictional, but the discussion is rarely conducted. The classical position, which goes back mainly to the late 18th century , says that poetry is a direct expression of the poet's personality; in this sense it is not fictional, but its own form of non-fictional expression. On the other hand, there is an increasing view that lyrical texts also create a world of ideas.
It is now undisputed that fictionality in no way characterizes poetry, so there are many literary forms that are not fictional, but do not conform to the traditional genre scheme. These include, for example, didactic poems , fables or aphorisms . As a rule , autobiographies , travel literature and advisory literature cannot be understood as fictional genres.
Most of the film genres are fictional. One can say that in the case of the cinema the fictional film is assumed by the recipient and, conversely, in the case of factual representations, this must be specifically pointed out (for example in the case of documentaries ). The particularly inventive fictional genres include fantasy and science fiction .
Theories of fiction
There are various literary , philosophical, and sociological theories to explain fiction. Many of the approaches do not claim to give a uniform description of fiction. This means that it is assumed that the breadth of the phenomena that are called fiction can only be explained by a variety of approaches.
This, in turn, stems from the problem that fiction as a phenomenon has not yet been sufficiently delimited, both systematically and historically. Moreover, the fictional phenomena have changed over the centuries; It is controversial whether today's fiction can be compared with inventive stories from European antiquity or the Middle Ages or from other cultures (see: History of Fiction). The term "fiction" has long been understood as a characteristic of poetry (English fiction ). The earliest approaches are therefore initially poetic theory. But they try to conceptualize the possible “non-truth” of poetry and can thus be understood as a forerunner of a theory of fiction. Such efforts go back to ancient times.
The original narrowing to literature means that the fictional ability of other media of representation only comes into focus relatively late, namely in the 20th century . Since Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's Laocoon in particular, the specific qualities that the various media such as sculpture and literature make available for representation have been discussed , but the focus here is on possibilities of expression and not fictionality. It was only with the invention of film and its use for fictional storytelling that we sharpened awareness that fiction is not tied to the literary medium . In the meantime it has become clear that other media - such as painting - can also represent fictional images.
However, even without taking into account the historical variability of the phenomena designated as fictional, it is not uncommon for the view that the description of such phenomena, due to their special structure (and not only because of their historical variability and diversity) , cannot in principle succeed within the framework of a general theory . The variety of partial explanations is therefore the optimum. Nevertheless, the current attempts at determination can convey a largely coherent picture of how fiction works.
Fiction is an important subject of the dispute between positions that belong more to post-structuralism , especially to deconstruction , and those that are more dedicated to a positivist endeavor to cognize or are close to analytical philosophy . The reason for this is that any explanation of fiction depends on an understanding of reality , and thus strongly touches questions of metaphysics and epistemology .
Current fiction theories
The phenomenon of fiction can be characterized very well via the concept of the world and the idea of continuity. It remains to be seen what exactly is meant by “world” and how it is possible that fictional worlds can be compared with the real world. The world theories provide approaches here.
The description of fiction about the idea of a more or less closed world meets with approval from very different explanations for fiction. This is because the problem of how to deal with reality is elegantly outsourced to explaining the world. For example, positions that are close to analytical philosophy can describe the world using propositions and logical connections, while constructivist theories can emphasize that the concept of the world merely summarizes the possibility of thinking ontology . This means that the ability to deal with the world is thought of in all world theories regardless of the foundations on which this ability is based.
A particular variant of the world theories are the possible-world theories ( possible world theories , PWT). They are based on the analytical theories of possible worlds, which take their starting point in modal logic . The main concern of the possible worlds theories has been since their beginnings (which are independent of the fictional theory) to be able to explain the functioning of counterfactual assertions . The possible worlds theories expressly oppose the correspondence theory of truth and emphasize the relativity of the idea of a real world. Many possible worlds theories also assume that one should not assume just one real world, but that the world differs depending on the observer. Put simply: everyone lives in their own world. Fiction is the procedure to put yourself in another world or, more precisely, to simulate other observer positions ( deictic shift ).
Cohn and Genette's theory of fiction
In the context of the author-narrator distinction of literary studies and analyzes of autobiographies that Philippe Lejeune presented have, at the beginning of the 90s Gérard Genette ( Fiction et diction ), and Dorrit Cohn ( The Distinction of Fiction ) independently developed the proposal, that fiction exists precisely when the author can be distinguished from the narrator. The narrator in the sense of Genette's narrative theory is meant; it doesn't have to be a first-person narrator. The built on this basic idea fiction theory turns out that this particular limitation of responsibility is meant by the author of what is said. Genette and Cohn present this proposal as one option among others; they do not assume that there can be a holistic theory of fiction.
The theory of Cohn and Genette is consistent with the formulation of the world, since the narrator is responsible for his utterances in the fictional world, so to speak. This approach is beneficial when it comes to exploring fictitious fiction and the function of fiction. It is disadvantageous because the equivalence between the fictional status and the criterion of distinguishing between author and narrator leads to a circularity of the concept: fiction is present when fiction is present. So there is no indication of when and why the distinction between author and narrator succeeds.
The philosopher Kendall L. Walton suggests in Mimesis as Make-Believe that fiction should be explained as a Make-Believe game . The English expression make believe means “the pretense” in the sense of “making someone believe something”. For Walton, Make-Believe means that an object gives specific instructions on how to handle it; that is fiction. The starting point is the description of the game of children who declare a tree stump a bear and then flee from it. The tree is a prop (Engl. Prop ), the basic rules are for the game. Fictional novels can also be understood as such props; When dealing with them, there are also very specific rules that you agree to at reception, but which - similar to playing with the tree stump - you can determine yourself while reading.
Walton's approach is considered original, but was criticized shortly after the publication of the monograph because his description can be applied not only to fictional novels, but also to factual photographs and newspaper reports. Because these also give instructions to imagine certain circumstances. In the discussion, however, it became clear that profit can still be made from Walton's theses because it makes it clear that there is a relationship between representation and fiction and that the two have not yet been adequately distinguished. In view of the possibilities of processing digital photography in particular, the question also arises whether Walton's functional definition of fiction, which, in addition to photography and the visual arts, also understands music as a performing medium and thus as a fictional medium, despite its intuitively too broad definition ultimately more conclusively defined by the functional concept of fiction than other current fiction theories.
Irrespective of the criticism of Walton's approach, the attempt to understand fiction as a playful way of dealing with set situations is pursued.
Iser's theory of fiction
Especially in his monograph The Fictional and the Imaginary , Wolfgang Iser suggests that the widespread juxtaposition of fiction and reality be abandoned and replaced by a three-way division into fictional, imaginary and real. By the fictitious he understands both the act of faking or inventing the unreal as well as the product; the imaginary, on the other hand, is the creation of a coherent space of imagination (comparable to the concept of the world to a limited extent) and again the product of the imagination ; the real, after all, is what is really given in such and such a way.
Iser's approach has been taken up time and again by individual literary theorists, but the majority of fiction research rejects it as not being well defined. In principle, critics do not deny that a simple division into real and fictional does not have a high resolution; but Iser has not been able to convince that his three poles are on the same semantic level and can therefore be compared at all.
Operation-oriented fiction theories
Newer approaches are based on an operationalization of the concept of fiction.
Epistemological works are interested in the distinctions made possible by a text called fictional. There are no fundamentally fictional distinctions that are “different” from non-fictional ones. Confusion between fictional and non-fictional representation is therefore always possible and must be secured differently.
Reception-oriented approaches, on the other hand, do not ask whether texts 'are' fictional, but rather how, for example, fictional readings work . From this perspective, fictionality is no longer a quality of texts, but rather a certain form of text reception or media effect. With text comprehension models from psychology, such as the construction integration model by Walter Kintsch, discursive fictional theories can be designed that can be empirically verified and thus also make specific reading processes describable in their individual properties.
Even more recent approaches in the follow-up to analytical philosophy are more oriented towards the attributions that texts make possible, and thus likewise move away from “rigid” concepts of reference.
Classic fiction theories
Below are older, influential contributions to fiction theory. They are still important to understand the current discussion on fiction.
Probability, Poiesis and Mimesis (Aristotle)
In ancient literary theory there was no concept comparable to fiction. This is explained by the different understanding of reality and poetry (see: History of Fiction). The concept of the probable ( veri similia , eikota ) is particularly important for the ancient understanding of reality . The probable is plausible and therefore often convincing, although it is merely similar to the truth (“similar to the true” is the literal translation of “ veri similis ”). However, the truth can often not be determined for the ancient understanding; it remains practically limited to pure philosophical knowledge. But if poetry relies on the probable, it takes advantage of the fact that the untrue can look like the true, and thus creates a realistic impression.
Aristotle 's understanding of poiesis is comparable to fiction, as Käte Hamburger in particular emphasized. “Poiesis” literally means “doing” or “making”, but at the same time means “poetry” and is therefore very close to “fictio” (“forming”, “forming”, “creating”). When Aristotle addresses the production of poetry, he is concerned with the creation of imaginary content and thus offers a theory of poetry that already pre-formulates parts of the later theory of fiction.
A central ancient concept for explaining poetry is mimesis (Latin imitatio ). The term is commonly used primarily to refer to the natural reproduction; it is mostly translated as “imitation”, but also as “representation”. However, since for Aristotle something that is not “there” can be “imitated”, the ancient mimesis theory is an attempt to explain how one can speak about objects that are merely linguistically generated.
The classic theses have been taken up by Genette, Hamburger and others and strengthened again. In particular, the German Anglicist Ansgar Nünning, in connection with narrative theory, has established a new conception of the term mimesis in connection with the narrative, which he calls the "mimesis of narration". But they only play a role in historical fiction research.
As if (Vaihinger, Hamburger, Searle)
In his main work, The Philosophy of As - whether, Hans Vaihinger proposes a critical epistemological theory of auxiliary operations. According to this, a fiction is an auxiliary idea that facilitates or enables thinking and does not imply any facts. Noteworthy are his remarks on the “practical fictions” in which he combines the “method of opposing errors” (Chapter XXVI) with mathematics, jurisprudence and natural sciences.
Immanuel Kant , too, defines the concepts of reason as “objects that have not been poemed and at the same time assumed to be possible” and “as heuristic fictions”; Vaihinger relies on Kant. Vaihinger's theory wants to be applied primarily to the natural sciences and only considers literature in an excursus . For “literary fiction”, as it is called by Vaihinger, the recipient consciously assumes the wrong assumptions that literature puts before him and treats them as if they were valid in order to arrive at a positive result (with Vaihinger for example to enjoy the beautiful work of art).
The idea of explaining fiction using an as-if structure was taken up by Käte Hamburger and John R. Searle . Hamburger modifies the idea by insisting that one should rather speak of an as-structure: The highlight of fiction is accordingly that one regards the fictional entities as precisely these entities and thus “a world of fiction in moments as one World of Reality ”appears. Searle, on the other hand, shifts the emphasis to the observation that the linguistic structure does not differ from fictional and factual assertive sentences. That finding Searle infers that the central criterion of fiction, the intention of the speaker is to do so , as if he seriously asserts something.
Intention (Danto, Searle)
Numerous theories make intention a prerequisite for being able to talk about fiction or art. Searle points out that fictional and non-fictional speaking do not differ in the linguistic structure. From this he draws the conclusion that the difference must be in one's attitude towards one's own expression. Fiction is characterized by the lack of seriousness with which assertive speech acts are uttered. Arthur C. Danto emphasizes the importance of intention for dealing with all artistic products, especially fiction.
The importance of the author for the production and reception process is being emphasized again today (“ return of the author ”). Since intention cannot be ascertained without any problem, it no longer plays a central role in the explanation of fiction, even for theories that adhere to the author's intention. The emphasis has shifted to investigating the ascription of intention and its manifestation with the help of cognitive science approaches. Research on the theory of mind is considered to be groundbreaking here. The current debate about the status of the intention is still open in view of this recent discussion.
Searle's claim that the linguistic structure of fictional and non-fictional representations does not differ is now widely accepted and is confirmed in current fictional theories.
Insufficient referenceability (Gabriel)
An effective thesis that is also recurring in current works on fiction is that fictional statements have no reference . This position is close to analytical philosophy.
Gottfried Gabriel's suggestion received special attention . This explains fictional speech as "non-claiming that speech, raises no claim to Referenzialisierbarkeit or fulfillment." ( "Fullness" means that to be fulfilled statement an assignment is with which the statement is true.) So has the opportunity a reference must first be clarified before a judgment about the truth of a fictional sentence can be made; fictional statements are neither true nor false. The accuracy of the proposal lies in the fact that it does not exclude the possibility of a successful reference, but merely describes the willingness to forego reference to the real world.
Gabriel's theory also takes into account the fact that fictional literature can successfully and purposefully refer to the real world (see: Effect of fiction on reality). Gabriel assumes that there are "different degrees of fictionality". There is also often a specific claim to fulfillment. However, the question remains how a claim is articulated - if one does not want to fall back on the intention theories. Gabriel's position, which is considered classic today, is incorporated into analytical world theory. Especially those world theories that assume a strict separation between the fictional and real world still benefit from Gabriel's theory.
Fictional Contract (Coleridge)
Theories of the fictional contract assume that the writer and reader reach an agreement that the reader believes the information in a fictional representation for the moment, but ultimately knows that the representation is not truthful. These theories are not least to the formula "willing suspension of disbelief" ( willful suspension of disbelief ) back, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge coined. Accordingly, at the invitation of the author, the reader consciously consents to "suspend unbelief" for the moment of reading, i.e. to believe the representation of the fictional text for the time of the reception process. According to Coleridge, after reading this, this suspension is canceled again, and the reader then knows again that he does not have to believe the text. Coleridge's romantic-poetic idea of a chronological sequence of "Belief" and "Disbelief" does not explain the latent double structure of a repetition of aesthetic illusion.
The thesis of a fictional contract is popular outside of fiction research, but has never been very strongly advocated within it. On the one hand, there is an unclear analogy with the legal concept of contract . On the other hand, disbelief is just one of the ways in which fictional representations can be received. The common conscious disbelief is also part of the phenomenon of fiction and not its explanation.
Post-structuralist criticism of classical fictional theories
Many objections have been raised on the post-structuralist and constructivist sides to some of the assumptions on which the more analytical fiction theories are based. These are not fictional theories of their own, but rather influential challenges to analytical or hermeneutical positions.
Large parts of the established fiction theory rejected the objections, but hardly discussed them. A reevaluation of postmodern criticism is being demanded or carried out in stages by a significant number of contemporary fiction theorists. For the constructivist and poststructuralist positions, the objections to the assumptions of fictional theory listed here are already canonized.
Reference (Luhmann, Derrida, Rorty)
Numerous representatives of very different schools of thought, such as Jacques Derrida and Niklas Luhmann , fundamentally question whether reference in the sense of analytical philosophy and classical metaphysics is possible. The linguistic reference to the so-called extra-linguistic reality is therefore always fragile and no final, unquestionable success control is possible. Since successful reference cannot be checked in principle, its lack does not distinguish fiction; it is therefore not a criterion for fiction. Richard Rorty discusses the problem that analytical positions suffer from the uncertainty that one cannot know whether a description of the world meets the “essence” of the real world; therefore, fictional theories that rely on reference are unsuitable because they rely on simply ignoring the fundamental doubt. Rorty is primarily concerned with the question of whether reference even presupposes the assumption of existence. The debate revolves around the question of how suitable world descriptions are possible and whether truth and reference are necessary prerequisites for a theory of fiction. Rarely is this criticism radicalized by claiming that there is no difference between fictional and factual descriptions. The more widely represented moderate version does not contain a positive thesis on fiction and is therefore only to be understood as a criticism of existing theories, not as a separate explanation.
There are certainly points of contact here with some of the representatives of analytical philosophy, such as Willard Van Orman Quine , of which the fuzziness of the reference is strongly emphasized. The further discussion is still pending.
Intention cannot be determined from the behavior or the specific linguistic utterances of a speaker. In the best case, it can only be measured by other expressions. Therefore, an absolute clarification of a speaker's intention is impossible. This “ phenomenological ” problem of intention does not allow testing the intention to produce fictional speech.
Derrida in particular directs his criticism of the logic of intention against Searle's fictional theory and polemicizes: If Searle went to the White House and pretended with all intention that he was seriously authorized to enter (here Derrida takes up Searle's definition of fiction), he could assume that the security officials would not see this as fiction, but would see it as an attempt to illegally break into the White House. The dispute between Searle and Derrida is central to evaluating the relationship between analytical philosophy and post-structuralism.
The intention thesis is not only rejected because of the lack of verifiability of the intention. Rather, the problem is that even an explicit declaration of a disagreement between fictitious and real facts can be ineffective. In other words, you cannot simply claim that all characters are “made up” and thereby ensure that you are not held responsible if there are too strong similarities between fictional and real facts.
Fiction as a adopted paradigm (A. Assmann)
The English scholar Aleida Assmann has put forward the view that the difference between fiction and reality is a “paradigm that has been adopted”. This means that in recent years modern society has lost the need to distinguish between true and fictitious facts. According to this thesis, whether a truthful or sensationally exaggerated report arouses the television public plays a lesser role today.
Assmann's assessment has been largely rejected. On the contrary, authenticity is often suggested in advertising, for example . As a rule, recipients still differentiate between factual and fictional reports and adapt their behavior to the existence of the fictional status.
Story of fiction
It is still controversial whether one can describe ancient and early medieval literature as fictional in the modern sense or whether it is not a very recent phenomenon. There is also disagreement on whether there is or has been fiction in all cultures. Accordingly, the dispute is very closely related to whether storytelling and fiction are basic anthropological stocks (that is, “all people always tell each other stories that have already been invented”) or whether these are very recent cultural phenomena. The following remarks are limited to the history of fiction in the so-called Western world ; an intercultural comparison is still pending.
In ancient times, a distinction is made between correct (true, probable) and inaccurate (false, improbable) representations. The ideas of truth and probability differ significantly from modern equivalents. Antiquity is quite familiar with finding reasons for rejection for the truth or probability of a representation. Something can be a lie , impossible or fabulous. The fabulous is most likely a pre-form of fictionality. (The classic tripartite division is that of historia , argumentum and fabula , where historia is a true one, argumentum is not true but is similar to the true, and fabula is not only false but also impossible.) The lie is not clear from the fabulous tale divorced; This lack of distinction is the reason why Plato accuses all poets of lying: because to knowingly present the improbable as if it were true is confusing and therefore offensive.
The ancient situation is complicated by a different understanding of historiography and the special status of myths . In antiquity, historical writings were still changed when copied and passed on if certain things appeared to the new author to be implausible or worth adding. He is even allowed to add factual assertions if they are likely. Such a relationship to the historical source and to the fact makes it difficult to speak of fiction in the modern sense of free additions. The myths are also problematic; fabula is the Latin equivalent of Greek myth ; It is well known in antiquity that the stories of the gods have a different status than the writing of history. Nevertheless, the stories of the gods have a certain religious obligation and are at the same time interpreted as possible descriptions of actual occurrences in the world of the gods. Often there are different, mutually exclusive variants (for example about the procreation of Aphrodite ). The situation is similar to that of sacred texts, but the historical commitment is higher. The myths exist in the one world; they do not create an inadequate and different world.
The situation in the Middle Ages is largely comparable with antiquity - at least up to the 12th century . Furthermore, a distinction is made between correct and incorrect representations. The guarantors of validity change, however: In the place of mythology and philosophy, Christianity and philosophical authorities such as Aristotle appear . As in antiquity, sources, testimonies, large and small authorities, and plausibility considerations are all taken into account. Representations in medieval novels are always possible descriptions of the world, perspectives, so to speak, that do not create a different world, as is characteristic of modern fiction. Even with Chrétien de Troyes , one of the most innovative authors of the Middle Ages, descriptions that contradicted the authorities would have been inadmissible. In Middle High German it is customary to speak of “lie” (lie) when the facts told do not correspond to the facts without this being necessarily meant in a derogatory way. The Latin expression fabula is followed by a narratio fabulosa when a story contains many untrue elements. Only around the 13th century did people become aware that elements of action were invented, i.e. that non-true elements could be used in a targeted manner.
In the Middle Ages, Bible exegesis requires a skilful technique of interpretation in view of an increasingly complex philosophy; a complex hermeneutic develops . Anything that contradicts the Christian message is considered inaccurate or incorrect. But even the contradictions between the Old and New Testaments force interpretations that deviate from the literal meaning . The traditional context and the canonized interpretations become more important than the sacred text itself.
It was only in the later modern period that fiction emerged in the modern sense. In the 16th century, thanks to Philip Sidney's Apology for Poetry, the belief that poets do not lie spread. In the 17th century tendencies can be recognized which allow one to think of independent ( autonomous ) and “self- related ” worlds other than the real one. The transition is clearly completed with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , who introduces the concept of “possible worlds”. Don Quixote by Cervantes and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe are discussed as possible firstfruits of modern fiction .
An exact dating of the origin of fiction is neither possible nor sensible, as it is not about the creation of new textual qualities, but about a new understanding of reality and the world. This change took place slowly in the early modern period and not to the same extent everywhere. It was only later that he favored the production of modern fictional literature. But as soon as a new understanding of reality and probability had developed, many of the earlier texts - such as the medieval novels, the Divine Comedy by Dante or the ancient epics - could from then on be read as fictional, even if they were written under certain conditions in which modern fiction had not yet existed.
Two main reasons for fiction to emerge are given. The first, smaller reason lies in the “discovery of the New World ” and the experience that comes with it that there can be completely different living spaces. The second, more weighty reason is the rise of rationalism - especially with René Descartes ' radical questioning of all existing truths. Rationalism demands a critical examination of the requirements for secure knowledge. The previously permitted limbo between true and plausible statements are discredited. From then on, texts - including poetic ones - must identify themselves with regard to their claim to truth and thus their relation to the world.
Classical fictional theoretical writings
- Dorrit Cohn: The Distinction of Fiction. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore MD et al. 1999, ISBN 0-8018-5942-5 (collection of older articles by Dorrit Cohn).
- Gottfried Gabriel : Fiction and Truth. A semantic theory of literature. (= Problemata. 51). Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart 1975, ISBN 3-7728-0573-6 .
- Gérard Genette : Fiction et diction. Seuil, Paris 1991, ISBN 2-02-012851-9 (German translation: Fiktion und Diction. Fink, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-7705-2771-2 ).
- Käte Hamburger : The Logic of Poetry. Klett, Stuttgart 1957 (4th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-608-91681-4 ).
- Wolfgang Iser : The fictional and the imaginary. Perspectives on literary anthropology. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-518-58077-9 .
- Kendall L. Walton: Mimesis as Make-Believe. On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA et al. 1990, ISBN 0-674-57619-5 .
Current literary and sociological work
- Martin Andree: Archeology of the media effect. Types of fascination from antiquity to today. (Simulation, tension, fictionality, authenticity, immediacy, mystery, origin). Fink, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7705-4160-X (also: Cologne, Univ., Diss., 2004).
- J. Alexander Bareis: Fictional storytelling. On the theory of literary fiction as a make-believe. (= Gothenburg German Research. 50). Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Göteborg 2008, ISBN 978-91-7346-605-9 , (also: Göteborg, Univ., Diss., 2007).
- Thorsten Benkel: Social World and Fictionality. Ciphers of a tension. Kovac, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8300-3112-3 ( Socialia 89).
- Remigius Bunia: folds. Fiction, storytelling, media. (= Philological studies and sources. 202). Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-503-09809-5 , (also: Siegen, Univ., Diss., 2006).
- Elena Esposito : The Fiction of Probable Reality. (= Edition Suhrkamp. 2485). Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-518-12485-7 .
- Stephanie Metzger: Theater and Fiction. Scope for the fictional in present-day productions. (= Theater. 18). transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1399-5 , (also: Munich, Univ., Diss., 2009).
- Jürgen H. Petersen: The fictionality of poetry and the question of being of philosophy. Fink, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-7705-3758-0 .
- Frank Zipfel (Ed.): Fiction, Fiction, Fictionality. Analyzes of fiction in literature and the concept of fiction in literary studies. (= General Literary Studies - Wuppertaler Schriften. 2). Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-503-06111-8 , (also: Mainz, Univ. 3-503-06111-8, Diss., 1999).
Current cognitive psychological work
- Richard J. Gerrig: Experiencing Narrative Worlds. On the Psychological Activities of Reading. Yale University Press, New Haven CT et al. 1993, ISBN 0-300-05434-3 .
- Lisa Zunshine: Why we Read Fiction. Theory of Mind and the Novel. Ohio State University Press, Columbus OH 2006, ISBN 0-8142-1028-7 .
- Dieter Henrich , Wolfgang Iser (ed.): Functions of the fictional. (= Poetics and hermeneutics. 10). Fink, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-7705-2056-4 .
- Maria E. Reicher (Ed.): Fiction, Truth, Reality. Philosophical foundations of literary theory. (= Art Philosophy. 8). Mentis-Verlag, Paderborn 2006, ISBN 3-89785-354-X .
- Bibliography on the subject of fiction ( Memento from July 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at the Network Fiktion der DFG
- Fred Kroon, Alberto Voltolini: Fiction. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Steven Schneider: The Paradox of Fiction. In: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- The Imaginarium , an internet forum about the development of fictional worlds
- Andreas Kablitz: Art of the Possible: Prolegomena to a theory of fiction. In: Poetica. Volume 35, 2003, pp. 251-273.
- Gérard Genette: Fiction et diction. Seuil, 1991. German translation: fiction and diction. Fink, 1992.
- Kendall L. Walton: Mimesis as Make-Believe : On the Foundations of the Representational Arts. Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 145.
- Marie-Laure Ryan: Fiction, Non-Factuals, and the Principle of Minimal Departure. In: Poetics. Volume 9, 1980, pp. 403-422.
- Niklas Luhmann: Love as Passion. Suhrkamp, 1982.
- Bernd W. Seiler: The tiresome facts: From the limits of probability in German literature since the 18th century. Velcro-Cotta, 1983.
- Peter Blume: Fiction and World Knowledge: The contribution of non-fictional concepts to the constitution of meaning in fictional narrative literature. Erich Schmidt, 2004.
- Remigius Bunia: Folds: Fiction, Storytelling, Media. Erich Schmidt, 2007.
- David Lewis: On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell, 1986.
- Elena Esposito: Fiction and Virtuality. In: Sybille Krämer (Ed.): Media, Computer, Reality: Concepts of Reality and New Media. Suhrkamp, 1998.
- Hayden White: Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth Century Europe. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. German translation: Hayden White: Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in 19th Century Europe. S. Fischer, 1991.
- Hans Robert Jauß: Aesthetic experience and literary hermeneutics. Fink, 1977; Reinhart Koselleck: Past future: On the semantics of historical times. Suhrkamp, 1979.
- Richard J. Gerrig: Experiencing Narrative Worlds: On the Psychological Activities of Reading. Yale University Press, 1993.
- Käte Hamburger: The logic of poetry. Klett, 1957.
- BVerfG, 1 BvR 1783/05 of June 13, 2007
- Bernd W. Seiler: The tiresome facts: From the limits of probability in German literature since the 18th century. Klett-Cotta, 1983, p. 54.
- Aristotle: Poetics [in the 4th century BC] chap. 9, cit. after poetics , Greek / German, translated by Manfred Fuhrmann. Reclam, 2001.
- Philip Sydney: An Apology for Poetry: Or: The Defense of Poesy. , cit. from Nelson, 1965, p. 123.
- Theodor W. Adorno: Aesthetic Theory. Suhrkamp, 1970.
- Kate Hamburger: Truth and Aesthetic Truth. Velcro-Cotta, 1979.
- Nelson Goodman: Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. Bobbs-Merrill, 1968. German translation: Languages of Art. Suhrkamp, 1973.
- Niklas Luhmann: The art of society. Suhrkamp, 1995.
- Wolf Singer: Neurobiological Notes on the Nature and Necessity of Art. In: ders: The Observer in the Brain: Essays on Brain Research. Suhrkamp, 2002, pp. 211-234.
- Lisa Zunshine: Why we Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel. Ohio State University Press, 2006.
- Gerhard Plumpe, Niels Werber: Art can be coded. In: Siegfried J. Schmidt (Ed.): Literary Studies and Systems Theory: Positions, Controversies, Perspectives. Westdeutscher Verlag, 1993, pp. 9-43.
- Steven Johnson: Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Popular Culture Is Making Us Smarter. Penguin, 2005. German translation: Steven Johnson : The new intelligence: Why we are getting smarter through computer games and TV. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2006.
- Marie-Laure Ryan: Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
- Remigius Bunia: Folds: Fiction, Storytelling, Media. Erich Schmidt, 2007.
- See the detailed chapter on 'Fictionality' in Martin Andree: Archeology of Media Effects. Types of fascination from antiquity to today (simulation, tension, fictionality, authenticity, immediacy, origin). Fink, Munich 2005.
- Sebastian Mehl: Fiction and identity in the Esra case: multidisciplinary processing of a court case. Lit Verlag, Münster 2014, chap. 3 on fiction and chap. 4 to empiricism.
- Ansgar Nünning: Mimesis des Erzählens: Prolegomena to an aesthetic effect, typology and functional history of the act of narration and the metanarration. In: Jörg Helbig (Hrsg.): Narrating and narrative theory in the 20th century. Festschrift for Wilhelm Füger. Winter, Heidelberg 2001, ISBN 3-8253-1156-2 , pp. 13-47.
- Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason. . Reclam, 1995, p. 784 (A 770).
- Hans Vaihinger: The Philosophy of As Ob: System of the theoretical, practical and religious fictions of mankind based on an idealistic positivism. . Meiner, 1918, pp. 129-143.
- Käte Hamburger: Again: From telling. In: Euphorion. Volume 59, 1965, pp. 46-71, here p. 63.
- John R. Searle: The Logical Status of Fictional Discourse. In: New Literary History. Volume 6, 1975, pp. 319-332.
- Arthur C. Danto: The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art. Harvard University Press, 1981.
- Gottfried Gabriel: Fiction and Truth: A semantic theory of literature. Frommann-Holzboog, 1975.
- See Gottfried Gabriel: Fiktion. In: Reallexikon der Deutschen Literaturwissenschaft. Vol. 1, Berlin / New York 1997, pp. 594-598.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Biographia Literaria. . Vol. II, Clarendon Press, 1907, p. 6.
- Jacques Derrida: Limited Inc. Galilée, 1990; Niklas Luhmann: The Society of Society. Suhrkamp, 1997.
- Richard Rorty: Is there a Problem about Fictional Discourse? In: Dieter Henrich, Wolfgang Iser (ed.): Functions of the fictional. Fink, 1983, pp. 67-93.
- Cf. on this Remigius Bunia: Foldings: Fiktion, Erenken, Medien. Erich Schmidt, 2007, pp. 51-62.
- Willard Van Orman Quine: Word and Object. MIT Press, 1960.
- Jacques Derrida: Limited Inc. Galilée, Paris 1990, ISBN 2-7186-0364-X ; Niklas Luhmann, Society of Society. Suhrkamp, 1997, ISBN 3-518-58247-X , pp. 195-197.
- Cf. on this Remigius Bunia: Foldings: Fiktion, Erenken, Medien. Erich Schmidt, 2007, p. 43f. and 193, specifically on the use / mention distinction , which is implicitly involved, pp. 334–339. For the history of the Searle-Derrida debate see Dirk Werle: The controversy between John Searle and Jacques Derrida over an adequate theory of language. In: Ralf Klausnitzer, Carlos Spoerhase (Ed.): Controversies in literary theory / literary theory in the controversy. Lang, 2007, pp. 1-14.
- Aleida Assmann: Fiction as Difference. In: Poetica. Volume 21, 1989, pp. 239-260, here p. 240.
- Glen Bowersock : Fiction as History: Nero to Julian. University of California Press, 1994, ISBN 0-520-08824-7 .
- Plato: State (Politeia) [around 370 BC. Chr.] Cit. after the edition: ders: works. Vol. 2, WBG, 2004, pp. 5-407, here p. 85.
- Egert Pöhlmann : Introduction to the history of transmission and the textual criticism of ancient literature. WBG, 1994.
- Cf. Jan Assmann: The cultural memory: writing, memory and political identity in early high cultures. Beck, 1992.
- Hennig Brinkmann, Medieval Hermeneutics , Niemeyer, 1980.
- Sonja Glauch: I should throw the fables at the wint: The status of Arthurian fiction in reflex: Thomas, Gotfrid and Wolfram. In: Poetica. Volume 37, 2005, pp. 29-64.
- Elena Esposito: The Fiction of Probable Reality. Suhrkamp, 2007.
- Martin Andree: Archeology of the media effect. Types of fascination from antiquity to today (simulation, tension, fictionality, authenticity, immediacy, origin). Fink, Munich 2005.