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Work and ObjectExplorations in the Metaphysics of Art$
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Peter Lamarque

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199577460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577460.001.0001

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How to Create a Fictional Character

How to Create a Fictional Character

Chapter:
(p.188) 9 How to Create a Fictional Character
Source:
Work and Object
Author(s):

Peter Lamarque (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577460.003.0009

This chapter discusses the ontological status of fictional characters and the logical constraints on creating characters. Drawing on Jerrold Levinson's arguments for the creation of musical works, it proposes that fictional characters are initiated types, grounded in acts of storytelling, although not essentially bound to any one, even if tied to a reasonably determinate historico-cultural context. Character identity is interest-relative and a character's variant identity conditions determine which of its properties are essential. Fictional characters are created just to the extent that their grounding narratives are created, narratives which allow for indexicality in character identification. The literary dimension is also explored, accommodating symbolic, value-laden, and interpretation-dependent factors.

Keywords:   fictional characters, Levinson, character identity, interest-relative, narratives

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