Reactions to Irony: New Sincerity and Criticism

A growing number of writers and creatives became frustrated with the oversaturation of irony during the 20th century. Many felt that irony was a “lazy” alternative to constructive thought. These sentiments culminated in the 1980s with the beginning of the “New Sincerity” movement. The movement began in Austin, Texas, amongst a group of musical artists reacting to the heavily ironic Punk Rock and New Wave movements.[1] The movement began to spread to literature, artwork and, eventually, pop culture when famed National Public Radio host Jesse Thorn began popularizing the term in interviews in the early 2000s.[2]

[1] Barry Shank, Dissonant Identities: The Rock’N’Roll Scene in Austin, Texas (Wesleyan University Press, 1994) (ISBN 9780819562760), p. 148–149 & p.271 n.84. (excerpt available at Google Books).

[2] Jesse Thorn, “A Manifesto for The New Sincerity,” February 17, 2006.diaryfront


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