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Object Lessons – The Novel As a Theory of Reference - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Object Lessons: The Novel As a Theory of Reference

Jami Bartlett


Literary critics have taken the realist novel’s claim to referentiality for granted, and have treated the act of referring as an unanalyzable simple, and the characters and things that are referred to as sites for an examination of the affective engagement they produce, or the sociocultural or historical conditions that produce them. Object Lessons draws on analyses of reference in the philosophy of language to show how novels refer to objects. The logic of the referential act itself—the conditions that must obtain in order for a reference to make sense—is a fascination for authors of the real ... More

Keywords: reference, object, thing, realism, philosophy of language, novel, description, character, plot

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226369655
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226369792.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jami Bartlett, author
University of California, Irvine.

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