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Authenticity is Fiction. The Emergence of a New Narrative in the Works of Paul Verhaeghen
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Authenticity is Fiction. The Emergence of a New Narrative in the Works of Paul Verhaeghen

(Sven Vitse) The Low Countries - 2008, № 16, pp. 152-158

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Anyone reading a novel by Paul Verhaeghen finds themselves balancing for a while on the boundary between fact and fiction. In his debut novel Lichtenberg Verhaeghen tells the story of Tom Pepermans, a young researcher who encounters strange figures, hears and tells absurd stories, and lands in alarming situations. And while Lichtenberg was interlarded with stylistic pastiches, absurd dialogues and grotesque scenes, Verhaeghen's second book Omega Minor is an ambitious, encyclopaedic novel that penetrates to the core of the traumatic twentieth century – the century of the atom bomb and the holocaust. Yet there are similarities: reality is not something you can count on or something the existence of which you can assume to be self-evident. Not only is our perception of reality ambiguous; reality itself is inconsistent: ‘Ambiguity is part and parcel of reality. (...) It is not the eye of the beholder.' (with a translated extract from Omega Minor)

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