A rich and engaging investigation into the nature of literary fiction.
What mysteries lie at the heart of fiction's power to enchant and engage the mind? Empty Revelations considers a number of philosophical problems that fiction raises, including the primary issue of how we can think and talk about things that do not exist. Peter Alward covers thought-provoking terrain, exploring fictional truth, the experience of being "caught up" in a story, and the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. At the centre of Alward's argument is a figure known as the "narrative informant" who mediates the reader's encounter with fictional events through - sometimes unreliable - reporting. Developing a theory in which the author is a sculptor who constructs works of fiction out of words, Alward demonstrates that much of the confusion about fiction stems from a failure to properly distinguish between writing fiction and telling stories. Combining clarity, philosophical sophistication, ingenuity, and originality, Empty Revelations is a rewarding read for both scholars of philosophy and anyone interested in the complex ways that fiction works.