the prevalence of the real

Maurizio Ferraris

pp. 87-95

The paper considers three uses of the real in literature that bear witness to what I would call “prevalence” of the real as the ultimate otherness. The first concerns the way in which the real bursts into fiction; the latter does indeed draw from the former details and surprises little accessible to imagination. The second is the way in which sometimes the pretext of fiction is used to mitigate the consequences of its claims; this mode is the strongest evidence of the extent to which fiction is steeped in reality. The third refers to the postmodern world, in which theory itself purported to be literaturised; certain statements (otherwise false or morally serious) are possible in such a theoretical context since the postmodern discourse theorizes the loss of the distinction between reality and fiction, and between philosophy and literature. The thread that unites these three ways to represent the relationship between fiction and reality is that all three of them are represented in the contemporary cultural landscape. The minimalist moral that can be drawn from this is therefore that realism – as well as anti-realism – is said in many ways that are not always transparent.

Publication details

DOI: 10.4000/estetica.836

Full citation:

Ferraris, M. (2014). Otherness: the prevalence of the real. Rivista di estetica 56, pp. 87-95.

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