During a class discussion about Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, the question was asked, “How did a slow novel portraying a protestant minister in a good light win the Pulitzer prize?” Gregory Wolfe, the professor, suggested that the sincerity of the novel left critics shocked. He then spoke about the New Sincerity, which I had never heard about before. It is the idea that a new wave of honesty and simplicity is on its way to replace the current irony, self-consciousness, and jadedness of our culture.
He cited Sufjan Stevens, Gilead, Arcade Fire, and folk-nuevo bands like Mumford and Sons that earnestly sing about things they care about.
This idea gave me a lot of hope and excitement for the future and my generation’s role in it.