Suboptimality and Pretence
Both individually and overall, works of fiction are interesting. They interest in myriad ways. Readers are interested in what happens next and how the story ends. Although he will have his own readerly interests, an aesthetician will also have interests more uniquely his own. He may be interested in ascertaining the extent to which, if any, what interests him about fiction is of sufficient interest to others to write a whole book on the subject. Kendall Walton’s interest in 1978 was in the affective capacities of film. That same year he was also interested in worlds, chiefly the one in which as some people think, the creatures of fiction inhabit. Twelve years later saw an ambitious expansion of his interests. What occupied him then was whether and how a comprehensive theory of artistic representation could be generalized from his insights into being made afraid at the movies and being a world made different from our own by the inhabitancy of the fictional. In the course of this transition, literary fictions lost their primacy. They were now but part of a much more encompassing theory.