Reality / Verisimilitude

Tzvetan Todorov’s remarks on the concept of verisimilitude made to the effect that it should not be equated with reality, but interpreted as what a given culture takes for reality.

The Poetics of Prose (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1977), 83; see also Wimal Dissanayake and Malti Sahai, Sholay: A Cultural Reading (New Delhi: Wiley Eastern Ltd., 1992), 20.

Verisimilitude as a set of cultural standards of what constitutes the real, the likely, the possible, which is distinct from the actual or factual and does not deny the imagined altogether.

Paul Smith, Clint Eastwood: A Cultural Production (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993), xiv.

The cinematic imagination which often has recourse to non-realist sources such as myth, folktale, fantasy, parable, comic book, and so on is not to be subsumed the reality/fiction binary. Not shying away from the fact that what it shows on screen is definitely not what we experience in our real life, the audience accepts it as quite relevant and meaningful to their lives in one way or another. That is, it touches on the lives of movie-goers in their meaningful and enjoyable in the audience’s reception.

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