"Supreme Fiction" (or, the "essential imagination = the source of our fictions) is an idea Wallace Stevens explored in his poetry and essays; most notably in the poem in three parts: Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction. Stevens presents this terminology as a way of addressing the interval between reality and fiction, perhaps more accurately described as reality and the imagination or reality and the perception of reality. "Supreme Fiction exists somewhere between idealism and pragmatism, as they might be defined in loose correlation to the imagination and reality, respectively. Idealism addresses how the mind mediates reality. Pragmatism deals with practical consequences and real effects. Milton Bates explains, "To see the world and to write poetry are essentially the same fiction-making activity, arising from the same desire to overcome our estrangement from reality." (51)
"As creatures that interpret experience mentally, we have no choice but to believe in the mind's made up version of reality." Milton J. Bates
"the nicer knowledge of Belief, that what it believes in is not true." Wallace Stevens
"I find my story in the telling of that story." Sam Keen
Bates, Milton J. "Stevens and the supreme fiction." The Cambridge Companion to Wallace
Stevens. E. John N. Serio. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 48-61.
Bates's essay deals with Wallace Steven's poem "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction"
link to the poem:
Sam Keen on the "bio-mythic creature"
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