Article published in:Real Fictions: Fictionality, factuality and narrative strategies in contemporary storytelling
Edited by Sam Browse, Alison Gibbons and Mari Hatavara
[Narrative Inquiry 29:2] 2019
► pp. 418–433
Speculative fiction as a tool for confronting the post-truth discourse
It has become an increasingly common suggestion that we are currently living in a ‘post-truth’ world, where compelling storytelling has usurped the place of empirical facts in determining our shared social reality. The impression of reality becoming endlessly mutable by storytelling is bolstered by the idea of narratives as mediators of human experience, developed across humanities and social sciences, becoming part of a popularized post-truth discourse. In this discourse, stories are viewed as tools for constructing the world, and attributed power to create their own truths. I argue that the challenge for meaningful communication posed by this sentiment can be uniquely and effectively confronted in speculative storytelling, and especially currently enormously popular fantasy fiction. By creating thought experiments in conspicuously fabricated settings, fantasy stories highlight storytelling as a means for coming to terms with different realities – and provide their audiences with tools for critically examining and challenging the post-truth discourse.
Keywords: speculative fiction, fantasy, Kazuo Ishiguro, post-truth, narrative turn, thought experiment, narratives as tools
Published online: 16 October 2019
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Berlatsky, E. L.
Cameron, R. P.
Laybats, C. & Tredinnik, L.
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Meretoja, H. & Davis, C.
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