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Mark Tully seeks truth in a post-truth world. He considers how to recognise what is true among a cacophony of conjecture, and how fiction, paradoxically, might lead us to truth.

As the UK election approaches, Mark Tully seeks truth in a post-truth world. He considers how to recognise what is true among a cacophony of conjecture and, in the company of author Howard Jacobson, how fiction might lead us to truth. They agree that we live in times when the search for truth is particularly important - but more difficult than ever.

With help from the words of Mahatma Gandhi, Emily Dickinson, Joseph Goebbels and Lewis Carroll, Mark examines just how slippery the concept of truth can be, and how an untruth told often enough, with enough conviction, can become credible.

Or, as that great believer in manufactured truth, Humpty Dumpty, would have it, "when I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean."

Producer: Adam Fowler
A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4.

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Bobby Darin

    It Ain't Necessarily So

    • Atlantic.
  • Danny Elfman

    Truth

    • Walt Disney.
  • Soui Massi

    Raoui Raoui

    • Wrasse Records.
  • Randy Crawford

    Everything Must Change

    • Warner.
  • Vangelis

    West Across The Ocean Sea

    Performer: Vangelis.
    • Eastwest.

Readings

Title: Of Truth: The Protagonist Speaking 

Author: Richard Eberhart 

Published in the Poetry Magazine 

 

Title: Knowledge and Propaganda 

Author: Joseph Goebbels 

Published in "Erkentnis und Propaganda", Signale der neuen Zeit. 25 ausgewahlte Reden von Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1934), pp. 28-52.

 

Title: Tell all the truth but tell it slant 

Author: Emily Dickenson 

Published by Poetry Foundation

 

Title: The Wayfarer

Author: Stephen Krane 

Published in War Is Kind and Other Lines, no. 13, published 1899

 

Title: From Yeravda Mandir (Ashram Observances) 

Author: M.K. Gandhi 

Published by: mkgandhi.org/ebks/yeravda.pdf 

Broadcasts