Peter Rabinowitz (Hamilton College), "Truth in Friction: Audiences and the Problem of Fictionality"

Peter Rabinowitz
February 26, 2016
All Day
Hays Cape Room, Ohio Union

Peter Rabinowitz of Hamilton College will be giving a talk entitled "Truth in Friction: Audiences and the Problem of Fictionality."

Every fictional world overlaps significantly with the world we know (or think we know)—that’s what makes navigation of the fictional world possible. But it’s also what makes it difficult. How do we know the contours and texture of that overlap? What interpretive issues arise when we slip over the border, one way or the other, without realizing it? Starting with an approach to fictionality that sees it as a willed state of mind, and anchoring the argument in texts as diverse as Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington, Zadie Smith’s “Escape from New York,” and Todd Haynes’ film Carol, I try to chart out what’s at stake when we lose track of our navigation system.

Peter Rabinowitz is the Carolyn C. and David M. Ellis ’38 Distinguished Teaching Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College and the author, co-author, and editor of numerous books, including Narrative Theory: Core Concepts and Critical Debates (2012), A Companion to Narrative Theory (2007), Authorizing Readers: Resistance and Respect in the Teaching of Literature (1998), and Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and the Politics of Interpretation (1987), as well as articles, published in StyleNarrativeJournal of Literary Theory, Novel, and others. His research interests include narrative theory, including its application to music; 19th- and 20th-century fiction, including Proust and detective fiction; and 19th- and 20th-century classical music, especially opera, piano, and orchestral music.