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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Stuart's Daily Word Spot: Verisimilitude


Verisimilitude: noun - apparently true or real, resemblance to truth, reality, or fact; realistic quality, probability; a statement  that has the mere appearance or show of being true or factual, an apparent truth.

‘Most writers rely on verisimilitude to draw their readers into the fictional world of their novels, hoping that their suspension of disbelief will carry them through the events of the book.’

The classical, literary notion of verisimilitude focusses on the role of the reader engaging with the fictional work of art. The novel should offer a pleasurable experience to the reader by facilitating the reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief. Verisimilitude is the means of achieving this mindset. To promote the willing suspension of disbelief, fiction needs to be credible. Something that’s physically possible in the worldview of the reader can be defined as credible. Through verisimilitude, the reader can glean truth even in fiction because it reflects realistic aspects of life.

Pic: Humber estuary at Hessle, East Yorkshire.
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