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Fiction and Conversation


Department of Culture and Literature, University of Tromso, 9037 Tromsø, Norway,


Exploring Rhees's analogy between everyday conversation and literature, the paper suggests a conception of form that encourages us to see literary works as contributions to conversation in virtue of their concern. How we might read for the concern of a literary work is exemplified by readings of Ibsen's Ghosts and The Wild Duck. These readings suggest that Rhees's analogy not only throws light on the communicative powers of literature: viewing everyday talk in the light of works of literature also gives us a better grasp of what goes on in conversation.