PART I: Getting Real
1. Humanism and its Discontents
2. The Mirror of Nature
3. Truth, Meaning and Reality
4. Leavis and Wittgenstein (I): A Living Language
5. Leavis and Wittgenstein (II): The "Third Realm"
PART II: Character, Language and Human Worlds
6. Nature and Artifice
7. Virginia Woolf and "The True Reality"
8. Aharon Appelfeld and the Problem of Holocaust Fiction
9. The Limits of Authorial License in Our Mutual Friend
PART III: Against "The Meaning of the Work"
10. Reactive versus Interpretive Criticism
11. Houyhnhnm Virtue
12. Sterne and Sentimentalism
PART IV: The Skeptic Side
13. Reanimating the Author
14. Persons and Narratives
15. Reading and Reading-In
16. Meaning It Literally: Derrida and his Critics Revisited
Epilogue: Telling the Great from the Good
Bernard Harrison is Emeritus E. E. Ericksen Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah and Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Sussex, UK. He is author of Inconvenient Fictions: Literature and the Limits of Theory; The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion; and (with Patricia Hanna) Word and World: Practice and the Foundations of Language.
"What is Fiction For? offers a grand, and successful, rethinking of an entire discipline and the conceits, questions, and cares that animate it. It will be the first book that shows literary theorists and philosophers how to divorce, once and for all, a defense of humanism from a retreat to Enlightenment and Romantic exaggerations about the human and its place in the world." - John Gibson, University of Louisville "This book is interdisciplinary in the best sense of this term: firmly rooted in both philosophy and literary studies, it brings philosophy to bear, illuminatingly, on literary texts while also enlisting the latter for support of an innovative theory of meaning in language." - Leona Toker, Hebrew University of Jerusalem