The Fictive and the Imaginary

Anne Hamilton, Body Object Series, Bush Head

‘By opening up spaces of play the fictive compels the imaginary to take on a form at the same time as it acts as a medium for its manifestation. What the fictive targets is as yet empty and thus requires filling; and what is characteristic of the imaginary is its featurelessness, which thus requires form for its unfolding. Consequently play arises out of the fictive and the imaginary.’ [1]

Each fiction contaminates the imaginary purity of everyday life by denying the privileged authority of immediate, lived context and that context’s subsequent “authenticity” of experience.

Because fiction “occurs” in a world simultaneous to and “outside” everyday life, it interrupts the narrativity, the linearity of that life. The weaving of fictive genres throughout this linearity lends to everyday life a lyric quality, a quality of recurrence and variation upon theme. [2]

[1] Wolfgang Iser, The Fictive and The Imaginary, 1993: pp.xvii

[2] -Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Image [from front cover] and text reproduced from