Sincerity and Hyperreality: The New Sincerity Ethos
thesisposted on 14.05.2020, 00:00 authored by Kayley Hart
Humans crave sincerity. We want vulnerable, intimate human connections, and many of us try to find it in literature, poetry, movies, etc. In the 1990s, a literary movement called “New Sincerity” erupted, encouraging vulnerable connections between writer and reader. While the movement was short-lived and controversial, I believe sincerity is still prevalent as a contemporary cultural ethos, found in poetry, film, and even politics. Social media has aided in the publication of sincere contemporary poetry, but also offers a platform for hyperreal performances like that of President Trump, who capitalizes on a rhetoric of sincerity for political credibility. Examining work by David Foster Wallace, Mira Gonzalez, President Trump, and Wes Anderson, my goal in this project is to understand the characteristics of the New Sincerity movement, and the political and cultural implications of the emergence of media that embraces sincerity and kindness instead of cynicism.