This page is an entry in the Key.

Examples of “portrayals”

All of these things can be seen as “fictions” if one expects them to perfectly reproduce the real-life subjects they portray:

• newspaper articles
• magazine articles
• scientific research reports
• books
• court depositions
• witness wtestimonies
• sculptures
• small scale models of buildings or cars
• dioramas
• paintings
• personal recollections
• first-person accounts
• memoirs
• audio recordings
• video footage (including all news footage)

In other words, ALL “portrayals” (including photographs) differ in various ways from whatever real-life subjects they portray.

Anyone who regards all of the things listed above as inherently “fiction” will regard photographs that way also, because photographs too are merely “portrayals.”

None of the portrayals listed above are ever “equal to” whatever real-life subject they portray, because none of the portrayals can possess or fully convey every characteristic of that real-life subject.

But most people distinguish between a “portrayal” vs. “the real-life subject being portrayed.” They do not reflexively consider all portrayals to be “fiction.”

See also questions #230 and 231 and see the Key entry on the term realistic