Wednesday, 23 May 2012
The erroneous belief that the "deliberate intention to illustrate human values by describing their absence" is feasible and/or desirable. Writers who use Harrison Bunkum generally produce work that is extremely bleak and certainly much bleaker than their own experience (which tends to be only moderately bleak at best). There is a tenuous connection between the principles behind Harrison Bunkum and Negative (or Apophatic) Theology, which attempts to describe God in terms of what He is not, rather than in terms of what He is. The assumption is that nothing at all meaningful can be said about God, because He is beyond human comprehension and that therefore the only way to approximate a description and understanding of God is to highlight the properties and objects that aren't Him, in the same way that an artist might draw a tree by sketching the absences between the branches.
Harrison Bunkum is named in honour of M. John Harrison, a writer of clarified prose who consistently made attempts to highlight the absences around humanity.