Literary thickness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Rafe McGregor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

In this paper, I shall demonstrate the value of the concept of literary thickness - i.e. form-content inseparability - As a tool of literary appreciation. I set out the relationships between non-fiction, fiction, literature, and poetry in Section 1 and sketch a preliminary definition of literary thickness in Section 2. I argue that a convincing account of reference in literary fictions can be provided by means of literary thickness in Sections 3 and 4. I argue that the match between authorial intention and reader response characteristic of the experience of literary works is explained by literary thickness in Section 5. In Section 6, I test the usefulness of the concept of literary thickness against Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang.


  • McGregor_Literary_Thickness

    Rights statement: © British Society of Aesthetics 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Aesthetics following peer review. The version of record McGregor, R. (2015). Literary Thickness. British Journal of Aesthetics. 55(3), pp.343-360 is available online at:

    Accepted author manuscript, 450 KB, PDF document

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  • University of York

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