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In the face of disaster, the public is arming itself with literary analysis to try to make sense of our scary new political worldOver the past two years, the nation has felt deeply divided. May, Corbyn, Brexit: supporters and detractors alike have seemed less capable than ever of seeing things from each other’s perspectives. The only thing on which we all seem to agree is the molten toxicity of Boris Johnson. So at least what unites us is greater than what divides us. But nothing reveals the divide more markedly than the way we’re choosing to react to the political landscape in which we find ourselves. Many of us turned off the news in the weeks running up to the 2016 referendum and have lived in denial ever since, wearied by a world of 24-hour polls, elections and analysis. I have a lot of sympathy with this position: a combination of a terrible basement TV signal and a life spent on tour meant I saw and read very little news during the Bush years. My DVD player (and a habit of going to sleep while watching The West Wing) meant I therefore spent a reasonable part of the 00s believing that Jed Bartlet was president of the United States. I can’t in all honesty say that I regret this. Continue reading...