Archive for November, 2018

BUNK by Kevin Young

November 6th, 2018

In BUNK, award-winning poet & critic Kevin Young traces the history of the hoax as a peculiarly American phenomenon—the legacy of PT Barnum’s “humbug” culminating with the currency of Donald J Trump’s “fake news”.  Disturbingly, Young finds that fakery is woven from stereotype and suspicion, with race being the most insidious American hoax of all.  He chronicles how Barnum came to fame by displaying figures he described as new, old, or a missing link.  He then turns to the hoaxing of history & the way that forgers, plagiarists, & frauds invent backstories & falsehoods to sell us lies about themselves & about the world in our own time, from the pretend Native Americans like Nasdijj to the identity theft of Rachel Dolezal.

This brilliant & timely work asks what it means to live in the post-factual world of “truthiness” where everything is up for interpretation & everyone is subject to a contagious cynicism that damages our ideas of reality, fact, & art.

 

GPL : 177.3 Young