The functions and dimensions of fiction: a memorandum

This article reminds us how difficult it is to establish irrefutable criteria for distinguishing between fiction and other types of discourse, since fictional elements are largely present in non-fictional texts, and in different non-verbal expressions. The article argues that fiction is not only a question of formal characteristics or of a specific relation between text and reference, but also of a special kind of communication, and even of the institutional definition of the text. Two other important topics are discussed: the use of fiction in today’s society and fiction as something inherent to human nature.

Keywords: Fiction, faction, communication, Käte Hamburger, John Searle, Jean Piaget