Ironic Authenticity   Leave a comment

In Amber Day’s article, she begins by discussing the skepticism of irony– particularly, by literary theorists. She then goes on to discuss the history and culture of irony by personifying it in the section entitled “Irony as a friend or foe”. I found this section very interesting, because I have never heard argumentation against the usage of irony prior to reading this essay. I have always accepted it as a common literary term without really looking into it more deeply. Day exposes the author Purdy’s arguments against the use of irony, one being that “the ironic pose as one motivated by ‘a fear of betrayal, disappointment, and humiliation, and a belief that believing, caring, or caring too much will open us up to these. “ What I got form this is that Purdy is suggesting that we downright say what we believe regarding public issues, rather than using an ironic façade. Day also uses examples from the author Jamie Warner to condemn irony. She uses an example of how The Onion’s usage of irony after the 9/11 attacks led to ambiguity, rather than a clear argument, and led the reader to even more fears than intended. Later in the chapter, Day seems to begin to argue for irony and says that she personally orients irony as “a mode of engagement rather than a cynical dismissal of politics” as Purdy seems to.

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Posted November 15, 2011 by hannahvoss in Uncategorized

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