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Media and the Modern Brain

SDSU professor Harold Jaffe combines fiction with reality in “Revolutionary Brain,” now available.
“Revolutionary Brain” is a collection of essays that take critical aim at modern information. Photo courtesy of Matthew Revert.
“Revolutionary Brain” is a collection of essays that take critical aim at modern information. Photo courtesy of Matthew Revert.

In a world obsessed with technology, people accept the twisted truths provided by social media and other platforms.

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SDSU literature and creative writing professor Harold Jaffe.
San Diego State University literature and creative writing professor Harold Jaffe explores these notions and many others in “Revolutionary Brain.”

The 126-page book is a collection of essays and quasi-essays that use a literary tool called “docufiction,” the combination of a documentary and fiction. Jaffe uses this writing style to enhance real situations with unreal elements. The result is a truth that can sometimes be more revealing than the truth itself.

“The use of ‘docufiction’ in the essays challenge readers to look deeper into things that often get misrepresented, such as death row inmates, climate change and large corporations that support moral media and pornography,” Jaffe said. “By blending fact and fiction, readers are pushed to deconstruct the essays so they can form a new sense of meaning on timely topics.”

The focus of the book evolves. But each essay takes critical aim at modern information – how it’s formed, presented and retold.

"...the essays challenge readers to look deeper into things that often get misrepresented, such as death row inmates, climate change and large corporations that support moral media and pornography.”

“Information has become disinformation without apology,” Jaffe said of modern media. “One piece of information contradicts a previous piece posted a few hours before.”

Jaffe said this book is particularly important because it addresses the idea that modern society has allowed itself to become so focused on retold truths, that reality is getting further away from being in “real time.”

He hopes that readers can learn to question information exchange and revive the spirit of compassion.

Jaffe is the author of 20 volumes of fiction, “docufiction,” novels and essays. He is also the editor-in-chief of Fiction International, a literary-cultural journal.

“Revolutionary Brain” was released Dec. 6 and can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

More information about Jaffe and his work is available at jaffeantijaffe.com.

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