On the one hand, Abelard admits that Heloise is not "truly" (vere) penitent; on the other, he concludes his rendering of her complaint with the comment, "for one who tells the truth (dicit verum) there is no strain in telling...." Given the context, the "one who tells the truth" without making any effort at "feigning" (fingere
falsa) seems to be Heloise.
The word figure, from the Latin figura or Old Latin fingere
, literally means "to form." In Derrida's anti-essentialist critique of the Platonic Idea as idol, or a kind of "Wise Guide" for the human eye/I, he suggests that forms are unavoidably sedimented with the real, which can never be real in the way that many Western philosophers assume.
"fiction," from the Latin fingere
, meaning an attempt to
I do not have time to go into this relationship between author and narrator here, but it is historically very interesting and has been given too little attention in narrative study.) Author's metalepses therefore foreground the nature of the narrative as fictio, the narrator's invention (from the Latin: fingere
) of the story.
Fiction can be traced to the Latin verb fingere
, to form or mold (see Lausberg 220, para.
namque componere dicimus, unde et compositores luti figulos vocamus." ["He rebuked the denseness of their understanding; he opened the mysteries of holy scripture which were about him, and yet because he was still a stranger from belief in their hearts, he made up a story that he would travel further.
The "TdIE" (1): Comments on "fingere
." I begin with what I call Spinoza's doxastic concept of possibility.
 This manner, or mode, inheres not simply in Zwingli's trope, but also in a second concept of being inherent in the verb to be itself, one tha t is rather "fictive" (from fingere
: "to form, make; to conceive, imagine") than substantive.
Mater abest, digitis legem quae ponat, et ori, Et cogat tremulo murmure pauca loqui, Osculaque aridulis non continuanda labellis Carpere, quae juret barbara, quisquis amat, Et celare faces, et amici obtexere nomen, Multaque quae solers fingere
Now I'm thinking specifically of terms surrounding the "art" of the novel: "fiction" coming from the Latin fingere
, "to touch"; "story" from historia which originally meant "wisdom"; "narrative" from narus, meaning "knowing." Did these things--touching, a search for wisdom, knowing--bear on the process as it unfolded for you?
This is because the master tropes, indeed their very names in Latin and Greek, kept reminding poets, rhetoricians, and scientists of the semiotic offices of figurality or rhetoricality themselves: the roots fingere
, fictio, figura all connote the imaginary shaping or fitting of linguistic entities as if they were contoured objects.