fiction

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a polite fiction

A general untruth or falsehood that is accepted in place of the truth to maintain politeness, civility, or stability among a given social group. Our parents' marriage was just a polite fiction in our household up until my youngest sister was off to college. By the time the military junta overthrew the dictatorship, the promise of democratic rule was little more than a polite fiction among the citizens of the country.
See also: fiction

fact is stranger than fiction

Real life is filled such bizarre, absurd, or unlikely events that it can be hard to believe they are not fictional. A piece of metal that had embedded itself in the patient's abdomen from the accident actually deflected the bullet away from any vital organs. I tell you, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.
See also: fact, fiction, stranger

truth is stranger than fiction

Real life is filled such bizarre, absurd, or unlikely events that it can be hard to believe they are not fictional. A piece of metal that had embedded itself in the patient's abdomen from the accident actually deflected the bullet away from any vital organs. I tell you, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
See also: fiction, stranger, truth

Fact is stranger than fiction,

 and Truth is stranger than fiction.
Prov. Things that really happen are harder to believe or more amazing than stories that people invent. Did you see the story in the newspaper about the criminal who attacks people with a toenail clipper? Fact is stranger than fiction! Jill: I can't believe someone's paying 900 dollars for Tom's broken-down old car—it doesn't even run. Jane: Truth is stranger than fiction.
See also: fact, fiction, stranger

truth is stranger than fiction

Real life can be more remarkable than invented tales, as in In our two-month trip around the world we ran into long-lost relatives on three separate occasions, proving that truth is stranger than fiction . This expression may have been invented by Byron, who used it in Don Juan (1833).
See also: fiction, stranger, truth

ˌtruth is stranger than ˈfiction

(saying) used to say that things that actually happen are often more surprising than stories that are invented
See also: fiction, stranger, truth

truth is stranger than fiction

Facts may be more remarkable than an invented story. The phrase first appeared in Byron’s Don Juan (1823)—“‘Tis strange—but true; for truth is always strange,—stranger than fiction”—and has been repeated ever since, often with ironic variations. Mark Twain had it in Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar (1893), “Truth is stranger than fiction— to some people, but I am measurably familiar with it.” And novelist Margaret Echard wrote, “Truth is not only stranger than fiction but far more interesting” (Before IWake, 1943).
See also: fiction, stranger, truth
References in periodicals archive ?
The ends and purposes fiction serves for humankind are numerous.
When the first American fictions appeared during the Revolution period (Elliott, 1988: 169), they already expressed the political anxiety of the day apart from being sentimental and didactic (1988: 179).
Models as Fictions, Fictions As Models, GREGORY CURRIE
To consider science fiction in countries other than the United States, one must start from these shores.
Most recent theories of fiction adopt pragmatic-contextual approaches that incorporate "fiction" as a historically variable category.
And they disguised their fictions in factual clothing: a traveler's account of faraway lands, the recently discovered journal of a shipwrecked sailor, or a historical record of the Black Plague.
Additionally, even if the teacher of the eighteenth-century novel adopts the shortest fictions available, she faces the daunting task of gathering them all beneath the rubric of some unifying period aesthetic.
Key Words: science fiction, nature writing, Judith Merril, Rachel Carson
"`Something Has Sure As Hell Happened': Gilbert Sorrentino, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Provocative Fiction." Bridge 1.4 (2002): 138-43.
Foul and Fair Play begins with an intriguing chapter called "Preliminaries," in which Roth reads the generic conventions of both apologetics and denunciations of detective fiction, noting their similarities and challenging the equations in which conventional=bad and "addictive"=shameful.
In contrast to merely inconsistent fictions, O'Brien's story is seriously problematic because it breaks the rules of embedded fiction: it is a pathological fiction.
James McGrath is a New Testament scholar and science fiction enthusiast who previously edited a wonderful collection of scholarly essays, Religion and Science Fiction (2011), as well as Religion and Doctor Who (2013).
Grace presents students, academics, and general-interest readers with a study of the career and work of Canadian science fiction writer Phyllis Gotlieb.
Such is the shifting nature of literature these days that literary studies frequently witnesses challenges to the boundaries between so-called mainstream fiction and various other prose genres.
He discusses the requisite authorial matters, including Johnson's upbringing and his parents, as well as his early work outside of writing fiction. He also usefully touches upon Johnson's interest in the martial arts, a matter he returns to in his analysis of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, wherein he claims that "karate represents for Johnson a form of art through which, in creating an alternative world, the artist does not work but 'plays' at the creation of his or her own body" (113).