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Suspension of disbelief

Suspension of disbelief, sometimes called willing suspension of disbelief, is an intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something surreal, such as a work of speculative fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment. Aristotle described it as one of the principles of theater. Poetry and fiction involving the supernatural had gone out of fashion to a large extent in the 18th century, in part due to the declining belief in witches and other supernatural agents among the educated classes, who embraced the rational approach to the world offered by the new science. Alexander Pope, felt the need to explain and justify his use of elemental spirits in The Rape of the Lock, one of the few English poems of the century that invoked the supernatural; the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge sought to revive the use of fantastic elements in poetry and developed a concept to support how a modern, enlightened audience might continue to enjoy such types of literature.

Coleridge introduced the term suspension of disbelief in 1817 and suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative. The term resulted from a philosophical experiment, which Coleridge conducted with William Wordsworth within the context of the creation and reading of poetry, it involved an attempt to explain the supernatural persons or characters so that these creatures of imagination constitute some semblance of truth. In his Biographia Literaria, published in 1817, Chapter XIV describes this collaboration called Lyrical Ballads, for which Coleridge had contributed the more romantic, Gothic pieces including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In Coleridge referred to his concept as "poetic faith", citing the concept as a feeling analogous to the supernatural, which awakens the mind. Coleridge recalled:... It was agreed, that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.

Mr. Wordsworth on the other hand was to propose to himself as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things of every day, to excite a feeling analogous to the supernatural, by awakening the mind's attention from the lethargy of custom, directing it to the loveliness and the wonders of the world before us... The notion of such an action by an audience was however recognized in antiquity, as seen in the Roman theoretical concerns of Horace, who lived in an age of increasing skepticism about the supernatural, in his Ars Poetica. According to David Chandler, Coleridge drew his notion from Marcus Tullius Cicero's Historia Critica Philosophiae, which cited the phrase "assensus susepensione" or "suspension of assent"; the traditional concept of the suspension of disbelief as proposed by Coleridge is not about suspending disbelief in the reality of fictional characters or events but the suspension of disbelief in the supernatural. This can be demonstrated in the way the reader suspends his disbelief in ghosts rather the non-fictionality of the ghosts in a story.

According to the theory, suspension of disbelief is an essential ingredient for any kind of storytelling. The phrase "suspension of disbelief" came to be used more loosely in the 20th century used to imply that the burden was on the reader, rather than the writer, to achieve it; this might be used to refer to the willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises. These premises may lend to the engagement of the mind and proposition of thoughts, ideas and theories. With a film, for instance, the viewer has to ignore the reality that they are viewing a staged performance and temporarily accept it as their reality in order to be entertained. Early black-and-white films are an example of visual media that require the audience to suspend their disbelief for this reason. Suspension of disbelief applies to fictional works of the action, comedy and horror genres in written literature and visual arts. Cognitive estrangement in fiction involves using a person's ignorance to promote suspension of disbelief.

Suspension of disbelief is sometimes said to be an essential component of live theater, where it was recognized by Shakespeare, who refers to it in the Prologue to Henry V: make imaginary puissance'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings turning the accomplishment of many years into an hourglass. Psychological critic Norman Holland points to a neuroscientific explanation; when we hear or watch any narrative, our brains go wholly into perceiving mode, turning off the systems for acting or planning to act, with them go our systems for assessing reality. We have, in Coleridge's second, more accurate phrase, "poetic faith" and so humans have such trouble recognizing lies: they first believe have to make a conscious effort to disbelieve. Only when we stop perceiving to think about what we have seen or heard, only do we assess its truth-value. If we are "into" the fiction – "transported", in the psychologists' term – we are, as Immanuel Kant pointed out long ago, "disinterested". We respond aesthetically, without purpose.

We do not judge the truth of what we perceive though if we stop being transported and think about it, we know quite well that it is a fiction. Suspension of disbelief has been used within a

Blood Royale

Blood Royale was a board game based on medieval Europe, published by Games Workshop in 1987 and designed by Derek Carver. The game is out of print. Game play combined management of a medieval dynasty with financial reward; the winner was the player who made the most money. As with the Games Workshop edition of Warrior Knights, the components were of a high quality and the mechanisms were innovative for their day. Criticisms of the game have centred on the length of time it may take to play; however the game was published near the end of the time when Games Workshop was interested in publishing board games outside what would become its core milieu of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, it was withdrawn. In 2005 Fantasy Flight Games acquired its rights with others old GW titles like Warrior Knights, Fury of Dracula, etc. but after more than two years the planning for a new edition of Blood Royale was suspended for unknown problems which are related to the difficulty in shortening the game’s long playtime.

Richard A. Edwards and David Nalle reviewed Blood Royale in Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer No. 82. Edwards commented that "Those gamers who are looking for a medieval wargame should pass wife of this one; those who are looking for a short multi-player game should pass this bye. But those gamers who are looking for a good diplomatic game with a medieval setting that combines the aspects mentioned above will not be disappointed with Blood Royale at its high price." Nalle commented. It avoids the unnecessary complications, it recreates some aspects of the High Middle Ages with impressive simplicity. Blood Royale is a fun game, with elements of role-playing and boardgaming strategy, it is the kind of game which will please a broad audience of recreational gamers those who enjoy games like Diplomacy and Kingmaker." White Dwarf #91 Blood Royale at boardgamegeek Interview with Derek Carver

Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway

Henri de Massue, 2nd Marquis de Ruvigny, Earl of Galway, was a French Huguenot soldier and diplomat, influential in the English service in the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession. Massue was born in Paris, he was the son of the 1st Marquis de Ruvigny, a distinguished French diplomat, a nephew of Rachel, the wife of William Russell, Lord Russell. He was a soldier and served in the French army under Turenne, who thought highly of him. On account of his English connections he was selected in 1678 by Louis XIV to carry out the secret negotiations for a compact with Charles II, a difficult mission which he executed with great skill, he succeeded his father as general of the Huguenots, refused Louis's offer, at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, to retain him in that office. In 1690, having gone into exile with his fellow Huguenots, he entered the service of William III of England as a major-general, thereby forfeiting his French estates. In July 1691 he distinguished himself at the Battle of Aughrim, in 1692 he was for a time commander-in-chief in Ireland.

In November of that year he was created Viscount Galway and Baron Portarlington, received a large grant of seized estates in Ireland. The title had belonged to Ulick Burke, 1st Viscount Galway, a Jacobite officer, killed at Aughrim. In 1693 he was wounded. In 1694, with the rank of lieutenant-general, he was sent to command a force in English pay, to assist the Duke of Savoy against the French, at the same time to relieve the distressed Vaudois. In 1695 Savoy changed sides, the Italian peninsula was neutralised, Galway's force was withdrawn to the Netherlands. From 1697 to 1701, a critical period of Irish history, the Earl of Galway was in control of Irish affairs as Lord Justice of Ireland. After some years spent in retirement, he was appointed in 1704 to command the allied forces in Portugal, a post which he sustained with honour and success until the Battle of Almanza in 1707, in which Galway, in spite of care and skill on his own part, was decisively defeated by the Duke of Berwick, his aide de camp was Hector Francois Chataigner de Cramahé, son in law of Jacques de Belrieu, Baron de Virazel.

Galway scraped together a fresh army, although infirm, was reappointed to his command by the home government. He took part in one more campaign, distinguished himself by his personal bravery in action. Marquis de Bay defeated him at the Battle of La Gudina. After this, he retired from active life, his last service was rendered in 1715, when he was sent as one of the lords justices to Ireland during the Jacobite insurrection. As most of his property in Ireland had been restored to its former owners, all his French estates had long before been forfeited, Parliament voted him pensions amounting to 1500 pounds a year, he died unmarried. The Irish peerage died with him, but not the French marquisate; the French Hospital was incorporated under the Great Seal with Galway as its governor. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Ruvigny, Henri de Massue, Marquis de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23. Cambridge University Press. P. 946