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Fiction and the Weave of Life$
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John Gibson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299522

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299522.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Fiction and the Weave of Life

John Gibson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter presents the theoretical background of the book, which aims to study the relationship between literature and life. It identifies a tension that exists between two intuitions: one is the humanist intuition, which is concerned with the social and cognitive value of literature, and says that literature offers a window on our world; the other intuition concerns how we understand the fiction that goes into a work of literary fiction. It argues that the humanist intuition can sit quite comfortably with those theories of literature commonly taken to reveal its implausibility. And so a properly developed theory of humanism, far from demanding that we abandon standard ways of speaking about the nature of literary fiction, can be seen as offering a significant and attractive addition to the various critical and theoretical vocabularies we already possess. An overview of the chapters in this book is then presented.

Keywords:   literature, life, humanism, humanist intuition, implausibility

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