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The Architecture of the ImaginationNew Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction$
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Shaun Nichols

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275731

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275731.001.0001

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Why Irony is Pretence

Why Irony is Pretence

Chapter:
(p.111) 7 Why Irony is Pretence
Source:
The Architecture of the Imagination
Author(s):

Gregory Currie (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275731.003.0007

This chapter defends the thesis that irony is a form of pretence. It traces the development of this view, and presents a stronger version of it than has previously been available. It contrasts the pretence theory with its strongest rival: the echoic theory. The similarities and differences between the theories are described, and the conclusion reached is that the pretence theory is better. Empirical evidence used to support the echoic theory is examined; this evidence supports the pretence theory at least as well. While the pretence theory does not apply directly to what are called dramatic and situational irony, it can be seen that these are closely related to irony proper as the pretence theory characterizes it.

Keywords:   irony, pretence, echoic theory, autism, dramatic irony, situational irony

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