chapter
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Quizzical interlude: what is a literary work?

You may like to know about an intellectual conjuring trick that proves, or seems to prove, that a literary work does not exist. You take various plausible ideas as to what sort of thing a given work is, and then show with one or two simple arguments that it cannot be anything of the sort. Finally, as various ideas as to its mode of being are exhausted, the work seems to have been proved not to exist.