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Frame 31.2 – Fact and Fiction | November 2018

The relation between fact and fiction has been a central topic for comparative literary studies ever since its inception. Because of the literary text’s ambiguous ontological status, authors are (nominally) at liberty to write anything without being held accountable for their artistic creation. As Jonathan Culler puts it, the literary text “does not presume a reality given and to be represented but instead posits its own truth … inscribes its own context, institutes its own scene and gives us to experience that instituting.”

For this issue of Frame, we have invited scholars to consider the value and potentials of comparative literary studies, and related fields such as media studies, cultural studies, and aesthetics, to address the aforementioned political and technological developments. Rather than staging discussions on what is true and what is false, this issue encouraged authors to explore the social, political, and cultural role of the terms fact and fiction. How do literary genres shape our understanding of fact and fiction? In what ways do technological developments not only change the possibilities of storytelling, but also our standards and perceptions of fact and fiction? And what responsibility do literary and cultural scholars have in influencing the debate around the social construction of facts?

Main Articles

Maria Boletsi | The Revenge of Fiction in New Languages of Protest: Holograms, Post-Truth, and the Literary Uncanny
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Anna Poletti | The Fiction of Identity: Drag, Affect, Genres, Facticity
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Grant Bollmer | The Sense of Connection, or, Complex Narratives and the Aesthetics of Truth
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Doro Wiese | In Formation
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Elena Lamberti | Fake News, Cognitive Pollution and Environmental Awareness
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Jantine Broek | “Back in a World I Understood”: On True War Stories about Women in Vietnam
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Masterclass
Lauren Hoogen Stoevenbeld | Living a Dream: History and Fiction in Danilo Kiš’ “A Tomb for Boris Davidovich” and “The Encyclopedia of the Dead”
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