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ERIC Number: ED352677
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-May
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Existentialism in New Journalism.
Dalmia, Shikha
In 1977, John C. Merrill, a mass communication scholar, found that many scholars believed that the sixties movement of new journalism is in some way related to existentialism. To find this out, a study identified six main themes of the philosophy of existentialism (as espoused by Jean-Paul Sartre) and looked for the presence of these themes in the works of two "new journalists." Twenty-eight pieces of writing by Gay Talese and Norman Mailer that appeared in "Esquire" from 1962 to 1968 were analyzed for the presence of the themes of: individual subjectivity as the starting point; absurdity or meaninglessness of the world; revolt against existing values; social reform; authenticity and individuality of person; and freedom and responsibility. Results indicated that four of the six themes of existentialism appeared in their work, but that the two most important themes (freedom and responsibility, and absurdity of the world) are neglected. However, the treatment of these themes frequently consisted of loose use of existential jargon. Findings suggest that existentialism had only a superficial influence on new journalism, and that the influence may have been a reflection of the general intellectual climate of the 1960s rather than a result on the journalists' understanding of the philosophy. (Fifty-two notes are included, and 54 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A