Cite as: Discussion of the lecture Jacques Rancière, The Reality Effect and the Politics of Fiction, ICI Berlin, 9 September 2009, video recording, mp4, 25:46 <>
9 Sep 2009


Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:25:46
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Lecture

The Reality Effect and the Politics of Fiction / Jacques Rancière

Roland Barthes’ well-known description of the ‘effect of the real’ provides a synthesis of the modernist logic that denounces realism in novel writing and the privilege that the latter gives to description. Rancière will show how this logic misses its target, because it cannot capture the very heart of the realist excess: the rupture of the representational logic of the novel as organic whole, and of fiction as a well-ordered cause-effect development of the action. Modernist anti-realism might therefore be the attempt to hide the contradiction that inheres in every artistic and political strategy of modernity.

Jacques Rancière is a French philosopher and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Art Theory at the University of Paris VIII (St. Denis). He taught Philosophy from 1969 to 2000 and was editor of the famous journal  Les révoltes logiques. Rancière is best known for his work on aesthetic philosophy and democracy and also writes extensively on cinema. He is this year’s fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre (Sfb 626) ‘Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits’.


ICI Berlin
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SFB 626 (FU Berlin)
In cooperation with the ICI Berlin and Arsenal, Institut für Film und Videokunst