Fictions of Fact and Value argues that the philosophy of logical positivism, considered the antithesis of literary postmodernism, exerts a determining influence on the development of American fiction in the three decades following 1945. Two particular postwar literary preoccupations derivefrom logical positivist philosophy: the fact/value problem and the correlative distinction between sense and nonsense. Even as postwar writers responded to logical positivism as a threat to the imagination, their works often manifest its influence, specifically with regard to "emotive" or"meaningless" terms. Far from a straightforward history of ideas, Michael LeMahieu charts a genealogy that is often erased in the very texts where it registers and disowned by the very authors that it includes. Reading works by John Barth, Saul Bellow, Don DeLillo, Iris Murdoch, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Pynchon, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fictions of Fact and Value will interest anyone concerned with postmodernism, modernist studies, analytic philosophy, or the history of ideas.