By Rachel Greenwald Smith
Rachel Greenwald Smith's have an effect on and American Literature within the Age of Neoliberalism examines the connection among American literature and politics within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Smith contends that the illustration of feelings in modern fiction emphasizes the non-public lives of characters at a time whilst there's an unparalleled, and sometimes destructive, concentrate on the person in American existence. via readings of works by way of Paul Auster, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ben Marcus, Lydia Millet, and others who level experiments within the courting among feeling and shape, Smith argues for the centrality of a counter-tradition in modern literature eager about impersonal emotions: emotions that problem the neoliberal suggestion that feelings are the valuables of the self.
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Extra info for Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism
77 A Chinese-born, Spanish-speaking janitor who is mistaken for a Vietnamese refugee; a Mexican housekeeper; a performance artist who may have been traveling through South America for upward of five hundred years; a Chicano human-interest news reporter with a love of film noir; a Japanese American TV producer with a hatred of multiculturalism; and a madman who conducts imaginary symphonies on an LA overpass improbably find themselves connected through the unlikely plot of the novel, which involves the unintentional distribution of a truckload of oranges spiked with cocaine; the revelation of a transnational black market trade in infant organs; a Mexican wrestling match; two catastrophic traffic accidents; and the warping of time and space that occurs when the line that marks the Tropic of Cancer is pulled northward, tethered to a California orange that grows, in spite of all odds, in the yard of a vacation home in Mazatlán.
72 Despite this interest in affective experience, however, neither author sees the cultivation of individual taste or sentiment as central to his project. 73 These works explicitly aim to undermine the personalization of aesthetic experience by withdrawing from typical ways of producing emotional responses in readers. But they are not categorically anti-affective, because they are interested in feelings that are unsettling insofar as they fall outside existing sociopolitical codes for what a feeling is understood to be.
5 Or at least this has been the general consensus among scholars interested in the literature of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century by authors raised on postmodernism and, in one way or another, skeptical of its distancing effects. As Robert McLaughlin describes it: Many of the fiction writers who have come on the scene since the late 1980s seem to be responding to the perceived dead end of postmodernism, a dead end that has been reached because of postmodernism’s detachment from the social world and immersion in a world of nonreferential language, its tendency, as one writer once put it to me, to disappear up its own asshole.
Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism by Rachel Greenwald Smith