lundi 12 mai 2014

Au sommaire (4/4) – Note

John Pugh
Nous finalisons le numéro deux que nous allons bientôt faire imprimer. En attendant, voici quelques textes qui annoncent la note :

"Willing suspension of disbelief" vs. "fiction as make disbelieve"

1. Shakespeare, Henri V, prologue

Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.


2. Coleridge, Biographia literaria, XIV

In this idea originated the plan of the LYRICAL BALLADS; in which it was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic; yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith. Mr. Wordsworth, on the other hand, was to propose to himself as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things of every day, and to excite a feeling analogous to the supernatural, by awakening the mind's attention to the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness and the wonders of the world before us; an inexhaustible treasure, but for which, in consequence of the film of familiarity and selfish solicitude, we have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not, and hearts that neither feel nor understand. 

3. Jeremy Bentham, Fragment on Ontology, Chapter I, Section VI (Uses of this distinction between names of real and names of fictitious entities)

In the house designated by such a number (naming it) in such a street, in such a town, lives a being called the devil, having a head, body, and limbs, like a man’s – horns like a goat’s – wings like a bat’s and a tail like a monkey’s: - Suppose this assertion made, the observation naturally might be, that the Devil, as thus described, is a non-entity. The averment made of it is, that an object of that description really exists. Of that averment, if seriously made, the object or end in view cannot but be to produce in the minds to which communication is thus made, a serious persuasion of the existence of an object conformable to the description thus expressed.
Thus much concerning a non-entity. Very different is the notion here meant to be presented by the term fictitious entity.
By this term is here meant to be designated one of those sorts of objects, which in every language must, for the purpose of discourse, be spoken of as existing, – be spoken of in the like manner as those objects which really have existence, and to which existence is seriously meant to be ascribed, are spoken of; but without any such danger as that of producing any such persuasion as that of their possessing, each for itself, any separate, or strictly speaking, any existence.