This Is Not … The Truth: On Fabulation

  • Paul Stenner
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


This chapter examines a phenomenon that is largely ignored in contemporary literature: fabulation. Fabulation is closely related to imagination, which in turn is classically distinguished from perception (where we are assumed to perceive a reality that is co-present) and memory (where a reality which did exist has now passed). In contrast to memory and perception, imagination conjures a ‘fabulous’ reality which need neither exist nor have existed. Fabulation is the name given to this process of invention that is implied within imagination. This chapter makes the case that fabulation involves far more than presenting an inadequate or distorted representation of reality. It rethinks fabulation as a symbolic means through which human beings gain imaginative access to a world in process of constant construction and reconstruction. Understood as a means of conveying insight into unspoken depths of changing social experience, fabulation is revealed to be crucial to human creativity and hence to the actual emergence of novelty.


becomingBecoming Bergson intuitionIntuition religionReligion poetryPoetry 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Stenner
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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