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  • n. Alternative spelling of nonfiction.

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  • See also nonfiction.

    July 11, 2009

  • A category in the Dewey Decimal system defined solely by what it is not. Interestingly "Literature" was also included in the non-fiction section, suggesting perhaps that Dewey's notions of truth and fiction were quite complex. However, I suspect that class bias was at work here, since literature appears to reflect what the literatti thought of as being of value and fiction appears to be popular or mass consumption works. While it seems that it is unlikely that Melvil Dewey gave much thought to the question of truth and fictive truth, the insinuation of this concept into our society is an interesting one. It implies that all we can know is what is fictive, but everything else is simply not fictive. A tenative and perhaps temporary categorization at best. This definition by exclusion is echoed in the current phrase "non-white," apparenlty implying non-dominant, and if we account for cultural imperialism, by inference, non-normative. Certainly, there is something in the term "Non-Fiction" which implies that fiction is the norm and all else the variant.

    July 11, 2009