Cover: Fictional Worlds, from Harvard University PressCover: Fictional Worlds in PAPERBACK

Fictional Worlds

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$34.00 • £27.95 • €30.50

ISBN 9780674299665

Publication Date: 01/01/1989

Short

190 pages

6 x 9-1/4 inches

World

Related Subjects

Creators of fiction demand that we venture into alien spaces, into the worlds of Antigone, Don Quixote, Faust, Sherlock Holmes. Created worlds may resemble the actual world, but they can just as easily be deemed incomplete, precarious, or irrelevant. Why, then, does fiction continue to pull us in and, more interesting perhaps, how? In this beautiful book Thomas Pavel provides a poetics of the imaginary worlds of fiction, their properties, and their reason for being.

Pavel is a noted literary theorist and a novelist as well. His genial, graceful book has a polemical edge: he notes that structuralism started as a project to infuse new life into literary studies through the devices of linguistics. That project undercut referential issues, however, and is now obsolete. Pavel argues that what matters about fiction is its relation to the human capacity of invention and the complex requirements of imagination. He moves decisively beyond the constraints of formalism and textualism toward a diverse theory of fiction that is sensitive to both literary and philosophical concerns. Along the way he takes us through special landscapes that reveal the inextricability of art, religion, and myth. This is a venturesome book of the first order.

From Our Blog

Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”