Pretending and Meaning: Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Fictional Discourse

Pretending and Meaning: Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Fictional Discourse

Pretending and Meaning: Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Fictional Discourse

Pretending and Meaning: Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Fictional Discourse

Synopsis

Since Plato, Western critics of literature have asked how it is possible for fiction writers to mean something serious. The outrage over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, highlighted our continued uneasiness over distinctions between fact and fiction, novel and history, truth and falsehood. The blasphemy charged against Rushdie raises important questions: Did Rushdie mean The Satanic Verses, or didn't he? When he publicly recanted, what did he mean? What do we even mean by "mean"?
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