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Lettres, livres & littérature


Paper presentation: “The Truth about Fiction as Possible Worlds”

La république des lettres —
Paper presentation: “The Truth about Fiction as Possible Worlds”

Please join us for this paper presentation at the University of Queensland on the theme of Worldmaking.

I wish to acknowledge the generous support of the Japan Foundation Intellectual Exchange Conference Grant Program for making my participation a possible venture.

“The Truth about Fiction as Possible Worlds”

One might think that the reality effect would be obsolete in an image society now dominated by the audiovisual, but that is not the case. To write is still at least in part to describe. To write is to offer a world of representations which capture readers’ imaginations, through the interpretive efforts of the brain. I would also add that drama and poetry are at an advantage when compared to the novel in that they are hardly concerned with representing the exterior world. But the novel cannot escape it. To write is not to transcribe, and one must leave behind “the naive conception of a novelist as ‘recorder’ or ‘reporter’ of reality” (Michel Raimond); for if contemporary novelists are still searching deliberately to make their works real, in the sense of plausible, they don’t for all that claim to create reality. In my paper, “The Truth about Fiction as Possible Worlds”, I will therefore explore the philosophy of fiction to argue against the widespread notion of “fiction as possible worlds”.

I wish to acknowledge the fact that this paper is an expansion of ideas that I have developed in my latest literary essay, Plaidoyer pour un renouveau de l’émotion en literature, and so relies on its current translation by Dr. Carolyne Lee.

When: Wednesday 10 July: 4.00-4.30 pm SESSION 3

Where: The University of Queensland

Who : Jean-François Vernay (see picture)

What: Paper presentation chaired by Sue Woolfe (see picture)

Biographical Detail

Jean-François Vernay is the author of three monographs: Water from the Moon: Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch (Cambria Press, 2007); Panorama du roman australien des origines à nos jours (Hermann, 2009) translated as The Great Australian Novel– A Panorama (Brolga, 2010) and an essay on fiction, literary theory, criticism and emotions: Plaidoyer pour un renouveau de l’émotion en littérature (Complicités, 2013), which is currently translated into English. His first fiction, Un doux petit rêveur, was published last September by Les 2 encres.

Vernay's books are available for order via various websites or directly from the author

For any request, please contact the author via Facebook or Linked In. Thank you.

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