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Who Has Fiction? The Middle Ages, Fictionality, and ‘The Rise of X’

Julie Orlemanski, University of Chicago

November 13, 2017 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 209 Scheide Caldwell

Program in Medieval Studies

This talk explores problems and possibilities in the history of fiction. While medievalists may be familiar with claims for fiction’s emergence in the twelfth-century, as romance and history whetted their identities against one another, Julie Orlemanski will zoom out to broader considerations of fiction’s historical life, which remains entangled in the grand récit of the secularization thesis. Both in medieval reckonings with pagan authors and in modern narratives of the rise of the novel, fiction is held to proceed from processes of disenchantment. Against this understanding, Orlemanski will track the irreducibly plural articulations of fictionality in the Middle Ages and along the way suggest how its peculiar status as an object of inquiry—as both concept and discursive mode—should inform methods of gnoseological and literary history.

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