Thus the possible semantic triangle should assume

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Thus the possible semantic triangle should assume this new form (Fig.3).
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Properties of Anna -------------------------------------------------------------- Anna Karenina Tolstoj’s Possible World where we pretend that there are individuals and events in given spatio- temporal locations. Figure 3 . Semantic triangle in case of fictional characters. When speaking of Anna Karenina, one makes a virtual reference to the inhabitants of a possible fictional world as if they were real persons. When we are shocked by a day- dream where our beloved dies, at the end of our reverie we come back to our everyday life and we recognize that we had no real reasons to worry. To be permanently sentimentally involved with the inhabitants of a fictional pos- sible world we must then satisfy two requirements: (i) we must live in the fictional pos- sible world as in an uninterrupted daydream; and (ii) we must in some way behave as if we were one of its characters. It can thus happen that, when we enter a very absorbing and captivating possible narrative world, a textual strategy can provoke something similar to a mystic raptus or to a hallucination, and we simply forget that we entered an only possible world. It hap- pens especially when we meet a character in its original score or in a new enticing con- text. But since these characters are fluctuating and, so to speak, they come and go in our mind, like the women in the James Prufrock’s world, talking of Michelangelo, they are always ready to mesmerize us, and to make us believe that they are among us. As for the second requirement, once we live in a possible world as if it was the real one, we can be disturbed by the fact that in that world we are not, so to speak, for- mally registered (in that world we do not exist) and we are drawn to assume the person- ality of somebody else who has the right to live there. Thus we identify ourselves with one of the fictional characters. However, when awaking from a daydream in which our beloved dies, we recog- nize that what we imagined was false and we take for true the assertion my beloved is still well and alive . On the contrary, when the fictional hallucination stops (simply be- cause le vent se lève, il faut tenter de vivre ), we continue to take for true that Anna Karenina committed suicide, Oedipus killed his father and Sherlock Holmes lives on Baker Street. It happens that, being fluctuating entities, these faithful companions of our life have an additional virtue: unlike all the other semiotic objects, which are culturally sub-
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ject to revisions, and perhaps only similar to mathematical entities, they will never change and will remain the actors of what they did once and forever — and it is because of the incorrigibility of their deeds that we can dare to say that it is true that they were or did this and that. On other semiotic objects Is there anybody else who shares the same fate? Yes, there are the heroes and divinities of every mythology and many other legendary beings like unicorns, dwarves, fairies and Santa Claus, as well as 99% of the entities in various religions. It is obvious that for an atheist every religious entity is a fictional one, while for a believer there is somewhere a spiritual world of supernatural objects (like gods, angels and so on), inaccessible to our
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