Making fiction out of fact: attention and belief in the discourse of conspiracy

MASON, Jessica (2019). Making fiction out of fact: attention and belief in the discourse of conspiracy. Narrative Inquiry, 29 (2), 293-312.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.19023.mas

Abstract

This article explores fictionality within the context of the discourse of conspiracy. In particular it examines the phenomenon of ‘false flag’ narratives: alternative versions of an event constructed by individuals who have become convinced that a news story has in fact been staged for malfeasant purposes. The chapter uses figure-ground analysis, which facilitates examination of how attention is distributed within a text. Specifically, it enables an examination of the prominence and salience that is afforded to particular elements within a text, and how this can be used to construct a fiction out of facts. The article problematises the notion of using a pragmatic assessment of authorial intention to establish the fictive or nonfictive status of a text. Finally, it proposes that more work needs to be undertaken in considering instances where authors either do not know or are conflicted about what they believe.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 20 Language, Communication and Culture; 16 Studies in Human Society; Languages & Linguistics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.19023.mas
Page Range: 293-312
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2019 08:57
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 10:00
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24739

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