The concept of fictionality has been proposed within rhetorical narratology to describe a communicative mode in which the qualities of fiction are deployed across genres and media that extend far beyond the novel and short story. Whether in political rhetoric, autobiographical writing, or organizational communication, fictionality offers ways to understand real-life events through the imagined. Yet its consequences as persuasive communication, its multiple definitions and textual characteristics as well as its reception are all subject to ongoing theorization and discussion.
In this anthology, scholars from a range of disciplines engage with — and problematize — the rhetorical approach to fictionality. Analyses of literature, commercials, graphic memoirs, political speeches, and a public municipality provide testing grounds for the concept, and the volume’s organization facilitates discussion and reflection among its contributors. The analyses are bookended by an opening chapter with a primarily theoretical focus and two closing chapters which critically engage with one another on theoretical issues while offering reflections on the analyses from a rhetorical perspective. Together, the contributions in this volume conceptualize, discuss, and test the concept of fictionality through a range of scholarly perspectives.