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Magical realism is the language of the emergent Post-Truth world

Hart, SM; Hart, J; (2021) Magical realism is the language of the emergent Post-Truth world. Orbis Litterarum 10.1111/oli.12297. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing on a number of new readings of ‘Post-Truth’, defined as ‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’, our essay interrogates the extent to which magical realism may be understood as the paradigmatic and quintessential discourse of the Post-Truth era. We paraphrase Homi Bhabha’s famous statement, made in the 1990s, that ‘magical realism is the language of the emergent postcolonial world’, and propose that, in the twenty-first century, magical realism is the language of the emergent Post-Truth world. In this essay we analyze and compare the Post-Truth techniques used in novels such as García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Mo Yan’s Big Breasts and Wide Hips and Murakami’s 1Q84. We combine Matthew d’Ancona’s robust call that we should fight against the follies of political Post-Truth with Anne Hegerfeldt’s argument that magical realism is designed to teach the general public how to read between the lines of politicians’ speeches in order to become a mature defender of truth, and therefore propose that the magical-realist novelist, in effect, ends up telling ‘lies that tell the truth’.

Type: Article
Title: Magical realism is the language of the emergent Post-Truth world
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/oli.12297
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/oli.12297
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Orbis Litterarum published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131740
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