Publication details

Narratives between History and Fiction



Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire / Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Fictional worlds theory; historical fiction; historiographic metafiction; productive reference; Lubomír Doležel; Dorrit Cohn; Paul Ricoeur; Kateřina Tučková; Martin Fibiger
Description The paper analyses the relevance of Doležel’s and Cohn’s theories of fictional worlds with respect to the interpretation of historical fiction and historiographic metafiction. These theories are complemented with Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics. The author uses Doležel’s concept of a fictional world as a possible world whose entities have no reference to the actual world. Following Ricoeur’s terminology, however, the author further postulates that literary texts bear a “productive reference” to the “lifeworld” (Lebenswelt) of the reader. In the case of historical fiction and historiographic metafiction, this productive reference entails primarily the revelation of the historical nature of human existence as well as cultural memory (or, in Pierre Nora’s terms, “the realm of memory”). The concept of productive reference is applied further in the paper in the analysis of works of contemporary Czech historical fiction (by Kateřina Tučková and Martin Fibiger) that deal with a traumatic period of Czech history – the forced expulsion of German-speaking populations from post-war Czechoslovakia.

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