If you followed the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, you might have noticed that Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, called out Republican nominee, Donald Trump, for living in “an alternate reality” (Dann). Such a claim implies that the speaker is living in the primary or conventional reality. This reality is governed by rationality, reliance on quantitative data and empirical research, the management and mastery of information, and the drive toward judgment that is unclouded by passion, self-interest, or imagination. At first, we might think that Clinton was being politely postmodern: she could have said that Trump was living in a “fantasy”; instead she laid out the possibility that multiple realities do exist and that he happened to be living in one of them. But we cannot escape the sardonic tone here, the stress on “alternate” leading us to believe that Clinton...
Zarena Aslami; “Feeling Real”: The Stakes of Victorian Realism. Novel 1 May 2018; 51 (1): 140–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-4357652
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