Unreason and Literature
OBJECTIVE TRUTH IN THE JUNOT DIAZ CONTROVERSY
Interesting to me is how the Junot Diaz accusers and the accusers’ supporters aren’t interested in the truth of the matter. To them, objective truth is an outmoded concept. To them, objectivity is impossible. They don’t care about evidence or the lack of evidence, because to them, evidence is irrelevant.
Most important is the cause.
An anti-Junot Diaz advocate tweeted this quote from Nietzsche:
All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
It’s a Nietzschean concept, and also a Hitlerian one.
We’re living in a post-truth age. We’ve seen this in fiction for awhile. More and more, best-selling novels are about fantasy, not reality. Fantasy of some kind, be it vampires, zombies, sci-fi– or the medieval dragons of George R. R. Martin and Company. Quite a difference from, say, sixty years ago when readers still lived in reality and expected to encounter reality in their reading.
(Artwork: David Revoy/Blender Foundation.)
A noteworthy example of this change is chief planner, organizer, and accuser in the Junot Diaz Controversy, Monica Byrne. Would that her novel was as well plotted as the Diaz takedown. Instead, it’s an assault of Too Much Information– experiences and imaginings jammed together with uncountable settings, characters, and ideas in a well-written but ultimately incoherent story.
Byrne classifies herself as a Christian– a style of Christianity untethered to any church or doctrine. A belief system where the individual herself determines her own beliefs, her own morality.
It’s old-fashioned Gnosticism, which gave established Christianity heavy competition around 150 A.D.
-Whoever follows the direction of his own mind need not accept anyone else’s advice.
-Convinced that the only answers were to be found within, the gnostic engaged in an intensely private interior journey.
TODAY: Post-truth, post-reality, post-objectivity– spawned by postmodern philosophies which began with Nietzsche. Truth merely a construct. Who’s better at selling their version of truth? One version is as good as another– the conflict little more than a PR battle.
Pretended truths and made-up belief systems on all sides. It’s not new. Nietzsche brought forth from his own insanities nothing new. The mindset has been with us for millennia.
Gnosticism matches the attitude toward objective truth found among the Junot Diaz accusers and their supporters. If it’s “your truth,” that’s all that matters. Your truth, your reality, accuser always believed. The accused is assumed to be guilty.
Responses to these remarks are invited.
-Karl Wenclas, New Pop Lit NEWS