Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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This article explores fictionality within the context of the discourse of conspiracy. In particular it examines the phenomenon of ‘false flag’ narratives: alternative versions of an event constructed by individuals who have become convinced that a news story has in fact been staged for malfeasant purposes. The article uses figure-ground analysis, which facilitates examination of how attention is distributed within a text. Specifically, it enables an examination of the prominence and salience that is afforded to particular elements within a text, and how this can be used to construct a fiction out of facts. The article problematises the notion of using a pragmatic assessment of authorial intention to establish the fictive or nonfictive status of a text. Finally, it proposes that more work needs to be undertaken in considering instances where authors either do not know or are conflicted about what they believe.


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