After the publication of the story 'Jansen' by L.H. Wiener, someone referred to as L. instituted legal proceedings because of an insulting passage in this story. The court of Amsterdam found that readers probably considered this passage as referring to reality - and to L. in particular - and therefore decided to ban the story. With the help of the so-called criterion of uniqueness, the present article shows how fictional works can refer to reality without nullifying the ontological homogeneity of fictive worlds. It is also shown how readers discover reference to reality in fiction. At the same time, the contribution pays attention to different sorts of readers. Readers with a high level of literary socialization can analyze 'Jansen' more thoroughly and will then see how the suggestion of reality of the passage under discussion is undermined by the story itself. Thus it becomes clear that the ruling of the court largely depends on the choice of the relevant group of readers with respect to 'Jansen'. © 2010 by Spiegel der Letteren.
|Number of pages
|Spiegel der Letteren. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse literatuurgeschiedenis en voor literatuurwetenschap
|Published - 2010