Publication Details

Gallagher, S. (2015). Why we are not all novelists. In P. F. Bundgaard and F. Stjernfelt (Eds.), Investigations Into the Phenomenology and the Ontology of the Work of Art: What are Artworks and How Do We Experience Them? (pp. 129-143). London: SpringerOpen.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9783319140902


In this chapter I consider one of the necessary conditions for being a novelist, the ability to open up and sustain a fictional world. My approach will draw from psychopathology, phenomenology and neuroscience. Using the phenomenological concept of “multiple realities,” I argue that the novelist is in some ways like and in some ways unlike someone who experiences delusions insofar as the novelist can enter into a sustained engagement with an alternative reality. I suggest, however, that, compared with the delusional subject, the novelist has better control of the mechanisms that allow for this sustained engagement.



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