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@desire machine ok thanks for clarifying ! we do have the term ''non-fiction'' to classify all of this, but it's barely used (the first time I came across this translation was in the Sims 3). I guess we focus on subcategories instead (essays, travel guides, cookbooks, literature, poetry, etc.), whereas in English I feel like it's more common than in French to distinguish between fictional work and pragmatic one. Maybe it influences the way we perceive literature and essays. To me it can be almost identical sometimes, and I find it interesting that essays are considered nonfiction, because they include subjective thoughts and ideas which is fairly different from other nonfictional works like History books. Some philosophical essays are reputated for their literary or even fictional qualities, and some literary books don't tell stories (that's what I'd call creative nonfiction, even if the term doesn't exist. And Perec's books I mentioned would fit in ! He wrote pure fiction too, with characters and stories, but I personally prefer his notes/thoughts/weird exercises.)
 
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