This essay assesses the claim that model structures have features in common with narratology and fiction-making. It proposes that simulation—a form of modelling—is amenable to literary narratives which are hypermimetic, in the sense that their cognitive or material reception by the reader demands a phenomenology attained through the heightening of a mimetic secondary reality. Simulation models construct frames of reference for target systems through self-validating mechanisms, and the same is true of narratology. I specifically argue that the modelling of a world out of text, one which is written and read into being, needs to be discussed in simulationist terms. To an extent, narratives or entire fictional worlds, are modelled by an author and a reader since properties, laws and behaviours are imputed on the basis of tacit agreement and shared knowledge. Readers self-identify (or not) with the author’s fictional world, and its constructs. A process of verification and validation, analogous to the modelling and testing of simulations, follows. I conclude this essay by proposing a model in which elements from simulation modelling are carried over to narratology to demonstrate permeation between both representational systems.
Simulation is a process which involves modelling, a form of scientific representation that is highly mimetic, function-driven and outcome-oriented. Various simulation theorists, such as Jeff Rothenberg and Pau Fonseca i Casas, have specified most, if not all, of these aspects in their definitions. For Rothenberg, “simulation is a process in which a model of any kind is used to imitate (some aspect of) the behavior of its referent” (1989: 80), while Fonseca i Casas explains that…
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