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Fiction is a fundamental part of human culture, and the ability to create literature and other artistic works by using one's imagination is frequently cited as one of the defining characteristics of humanity.

By definition, fiction is "untruth." Since untruth is contrary to truth, and because truth is a virtue, does that not make untruth found in fiction a vice? --anonymous catholic quote

For Plato poetry (and, more specifically, fiction) is untruth and unworthy of a philosopher. --D.H. Green via The Beginnings of Medieval Romance

Since the 17th century the term fiction is often used synonymously with literature and more specifically novels. From a high/low culture point of view, fiction is subdivided in popular fiction (e.g., Stephen King) and literary fiction (e.g., James Joyce). [Apr 2006]

history of fiction

By medium: art - film - literature - music

Titles: The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (1764)

By genre: adventure - comedy - cautionary tale - comics - crime fiction - cult fiction - dime novel - drama - erotic fiction - escapist fiction - exploitation - false document - fantastic - fantastic literature - fantastique - farce - formula fiction - gay fiction - genre fiction - giallo - Gothic novel - horror - interactive fiction - melodrama - noir fiction - paraliterature - pulp fiction - ribaldry - romance - serial - science fiction - thriller - tragedy - transgressive fiction - western (genre)

Tropes: lesbian vampire - revenge - women in prison

Related: adaptation - books - character - content - fantasy - imagination - film - genre - literature - motif - mythology - narrative - narratology - non-fiction - novel - plot - printing - publishing - representation - scene - script - setting - story - suspension of disbelief - theatre - theme - tone - trope - truth - writer

Grotesque fiction: grotesque art - grotesque film - grotesque literature

Erotic fiction: erotic art - erotic books - erotic fiction - erotic movies - erotic photography

Genre fiction: genre film - genre fiction - genre music

Horror fiction: horror film - horror fiction - horror art

Modern fiction: modern art - modern literature - modern music - modernist fiction

Postmodern fiction: metafiction - postmodern art - postmodern literature - postmodern film - postmodern music

Underground fiction: underground film - underground press (books, etc...) - underground music

Fantastic Planet (1973) - René Laloux [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Fiction is the term used to describe works of information created from the imagination. This is in contrast to non-fiction, which makes factual claims about reality. Fictional works -- books, pictures, stories, movies, comics, interactive fiction -- may be partly based on factual occurrences but always contain imaginary content.

Fiction is largely perceived as a form of art or entertainment, although not all fiction is necessarily artistic. Fiction may be created for the purpose of educating, such as fictional examples used in school textbooks. Fiction is also frequently instrumentalized by propaganda and advertising. Fiction may be propagated by parents to their children out of tradition (e.g. Santa Claus) or as a form of control (cf. fairy tales). Frequently fiction is deliberately created with a moral goal in mind; such fables are not necessarily targeted at children.

Fiction may over time blend with factual accounts and develop into mythology; atheists typically perceive religion as no different from any fictional tale, whereas members of religious groups typically explain their beliefs with faith and claim they are fundamentally different from fictional tales (although they may call alternative religious views fictional). The sociological school of constructivism argues that every view of reality is fundamentally a construction of the self and that a safe distinction between fact and fiction is impossible, whereas the philosophy of naturalism holds that reality can be approximated and truth can be demonstrated through usefulness, allowing the distinction from fiction.

Fiction has often been the target of censorship or boycotts, escalating into book burnings or bans. Extremist regimes like the Taliban have been even more prohibitive, restricting all reading to religious texts. There is an ongoing debate regarding sexual content in fiction and whether or not juveniles can be safely exposed to it; opponents of fiction with sexual content typically label it pornography.

The Internet has had a massive impact on the distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure the income of creators. Together with cheap and powerful home computers, it has also led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics. Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. Through open writing systems like wikis, collaboratively written fiction is also becoming possible.

Fiction may be perceived as funny, serious, sad, fast, tense, confusing, surprising, twisted, provocative, boring, unrealistic, enlightening, addictive, manipulative, generic, beautiful, life-changing, depressing, or inspiring. Whatever one's view of specific forms of fiction may be, it cannot be denied that fiction is a fundamental part of human culture, and the ability to create fiction, or in fact any art, is frequently cited as one of the defining characteristics of humanity. -- http://wikipedia.com/wiki/Fiction


To treat as or make into fiction: “has fictionalized his people and their town, but we know they are real” (Harper's). --AHD

convert into the form or the style of a novel --WordNet

In films and literature, this usually means: based on a true story.


See also: story - truth - reality - fiction - false document

Fictional universe

A fictional universe is a cohesive fictional world that serves as the setting or backdrop for one or (more commonly) multiple works of fiction. Fictional universes are most common in, but not exclusive to, the science fiction and fantasy genres. Many universes written in one or both of these genres feature physical and metaphysical laws different from our own that allow for magical, psychic and various other types of paranormal phenomena. Although these laws may not be completely internally consistent, they do allow the author to provide some textual explanation for how their imagined world differs from our own. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictional_universe [May 2005]

see also: fiction - universe

The Art of Fiction : Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts (1994) - David Lodge

The Art of Fiction : Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts (1994) - David Lodge [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
British novelist Lodge ( Paradise News ) retired in 1987 from Birmingham University's English faculty and swore off academic prose, but in 1991 he consented to contribute a series of columns "of interest to a more general reading public" to the London Independent . Each of these 50 essays begins with a brief fiction passage, addressed and interpreted topically by Lodge, who discusses point of view, the unreliable narrator, "the uncanny," "weather" and other aspects of writing. For example, in Chapter 19, "Repetition," he observes that while Hemingway is famous for the "charged simplicity" of his reiterated words or phrases, repetition brings a special flavor to the work of writers as various as Dickens, Lawrence and Martin Amis--and he proves it. The selections are varied, although perhaps slanted to favor gentility (Austen and Nabokov, not Meredith or Dreiser), and tend to verify the opinion that "the novel has always been centrally concerned with erotic attraction and desire." Lodge may be working a bit below full capacity here, but apart from serving as a genial companion, he defines terms of the novelist's craft so deftly and concisely that this pleasurable browse could rescue (or replace) many a college syllabus. --Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

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