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News > Alumni News > The Dark Side of Sunshine

The Dark Side of Sunshine

The first satire of woke academia

14 Nov 2020
Written by Bruce Newsome
Alumni News
The Dark Side of Sunshine: hardback cover
The Dark Side of Sunshine: hardback cover

I had the strange experience of crying with laughter when re-reading my own novel. Is that normal? or right? or decent? I didn't know what to make of myself. It felt fair enough to amuse myself when I realized I had written something clever and amusing that I could not remember writing. In fact, I think all examples were somewhat surprising to me: I might have remembered writing them, but not quite the turn of phrase. I do worry that my own work amuses me more than most so-called humor of our time, but then I am reminded that humor of previous decades amuses me most, so I don't feel so out of place in the older canon, although certainly I am out of place in the new post-modern canon. Current publishing was in great need of a lampooning, and I am pleased I captured much of the ridiculousness of modern publishing and authoring into this novel. More generally, this a satire of woke academia, which is overdue for satirization, but I hesitate even to call this novel a satire of academia, because it is a much broader satire of the society and politics that the woke have made, securely based in academia, but not limited to academia. I think this is the first novel in an inevitable wave of anti-woke literary fiction. I hope readers will notify me of others in the wave. Of course, all characters, locations, and scenarios in my novel are complete imaginations of my fertile creative mind and bear no resemblance to my real experiences. That statement is also fun to write. I had the odd experience of often thinking of how Waugh and Wodehouse would have handled narratives differently given my age's contemporary technologies of email and mobile phones and social media. I think I satirized them the way Waugh would have done. Wodehouse would have just carried on writing his characters based in a time of his youth and thus ignored new technologies entirely: good for him. My hero is not enamored of new technologies, and has a grudging professional involvement, but much is forced upon him (and thus me, as writer). The tech leaders and their disciples are appropriately lampooned for their false gods and ludicrously idealistic and hypocritical expectations. Hypocrisies, fallacies, contradictions are running themes in this novel. I had great fun exposing them.

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