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Conspiracy theories as narratives

March 18, 2011

Bernard Beckett’s Genesis circles our fear of Big Brother, while feeding our interest in conspiracy theories. There is a really interesting issue of the New German Critique on conspiracy theories as narratives.  A snippet:

“….It means reading between the lines, reading in the gaps left in the all-too-convincing tales we are told.  We must not only ask about the slant of accounts but also mistrust the nature of the facts on which they rely, as well as the facts themselves.  The more facts, the more bodies of evidence, the more witnesses – the more unreliable these become.  Conspiracy theories, however, thrive on such thickets of inconsistency.  Instead of corroborating one plausible hypothesis, they tend to discredit one another, opening up an abyss of uncertainty and distrust.  This is what, after the JFK assassination, DeLillo called ‘a natural disaster in the heartland of the real’: the overwhelming feeling that facts, proofs, and elements of reality suddenly started to appear as strange inventions, as fictions.”[1]


[1] P4 Horn, E. and A. Rabinbach (2008). “Introduction.” New German Critique 35(1): 1-8.

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