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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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The Loss of the Real

The Loss of the Real

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 The Loss of the Real
Source:
Fiction and the Weave of Life
Author(s):

John Gibson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299522.003.0002

This chapter sets up the challenge of offering a reconciliation between the two intuitions about the nature and value of literary artwork. It introduces the sceptic, himself a fiction but a fiction whose voice will draw together the most powerful reasons available for doubting that this reconciliation is possible. It is shown that far from being a literary philistine, the sceptic appears to have both literature and reason on his side. The arguments the sceptic sets forth pose a genuine threat to the humanist intuition. Indeed, they reveal something deeply puzzling about the idea that literature can or ever wishes to be revelatory of reality.

Keywords:   literature, reason, sceptic, humanism, humanist intuition, literary philistine

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