Doc'In Nicod

Interactive fiction and breaking the fourth wall

Merel Semeijn (University of Groningen)
Practical information
07 December 2021
12 - 1:30 pm




Commentateur : Ori Simchen

Philosophers of fiction often take fiction novels (e.g. the Sherlock Holmes novels) as their primary examples of fiction. Recently, however, some have voiced dissatisfaction with this focus. The concern is that a comprehensive philosophy of fiction should also pay attention to other types of fiction practices such as paintings, comic books, movies, theatre, pretend play, LARPing, (video) games, etc. In this talk, I will present plans for future research. I want to explore whether and how concepts, analyses, and insights from my Ph.D. research (which also focused mostly on fiction novels) might be extended to other types of fiction practices. After giving an overview of possible research directions I will, in the second part of the talk, focus on one potential project. I will discuss the phenomenon of breaking the fourth wall (something that is typically found in theatre or film), i.e. when a character in some fiction somehow makes reference to the fictionality of the world that they are in. I will propose an analysis of breaking the fourth wall as ‘fictional metafictional statements’.


Doctoral and post-doctoral seminar of the IJN

Doc’in Nicod is a biweekly seminar providing an opportunity for young researchers, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows from the IJN to receive feedback on work in progress from fellow graduate students and researchers of the Institute. Each session will feature one researcher of the IJN as a commentator.

Location : Meeting room of the Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

Contact : Armando Lavalle or Hualin Xiao