One of the delights of imaginative writing is the freedom it allows for a parallel world to be created according to the wishes and purposes of the writer. That freedom, paradoxically, depends on the normative constraints involved in the public creation and renewal of language. The evocative power of fiction, that is, is achieved through terms and connectives which depend for their meaning on a constant effort on the part of ordinary users of language to make sense of things which are not language. In this analogue of tendencies in social science, the writers of fiction are the idealists and the public are the realists.