Mark Lawson on Gordon Burn's Born Yesterday: the news as novel

This sense of events feeling invented is not entirely new. For several decades, writers have toyed with the idea that, whether or not truth is stranger than fiction, it is sometimes indistinguishable from it.

Norman Mailer alluded to this blurring in a 1960s phrase about "the novel as history, history as a novel", while the French thinker Jean Baudrillard, with his theory of "hyper-reality", argued that humans, unable to make sense of the complexities of the modern world, experienced real events as if they were fantasy. Yet such ideas - as the concept of Burn's novel acknowledges - have now truly found their time.

December 8, 2007 1:08 PM |


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