Gerd Bayer
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Truth and fiction
Reality and the page
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This concluding chapter discusses the role played by realism in English Restoration fiction, written at a time when journalistic news about British and continental affairs created in readers a growing need for more or less truthful representations of reality. Writers increasingly addressed this need also in fictional texts, which accordingly added more realistic descriptions or openly related to real-world events through coded references. At the same time, various meta-fictional moments signal to the readers that they are reading fictions, suggesting that readers were well aware that realism was only ever a second-degree reality, even for early modern audiences. The chapter again points to the body of the reader as a site where presence is created, for instance when books include songs to be sung aloud.

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Novel horizons

The genre making of Restoration fiction


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