Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Race, Rights, and RecognitionJewish American Literature since 1969$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dean J. Franco

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450877

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450877.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 26 June 2022

Globalization’s Complaint

Globalization’s Complaint

Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan and the Culture of Culture

Chapter:
(p.170) 6 Globalization’s Complaint
Source:
Race, Rights, and Recognition
Author(s):

Dean J. Franco

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450877.003.0007

This chapter takes the satirization of multiculturalism in Gary Shteyngart's novel Absurdistan as a challenge to the discussion of pluralist recognition of the preceding chapters. For Shteyngart's antihero, the Russian Jewish scion and practitioner of global multiculturalism Misha Vainburg, multiculturalism is the transcendent truth amid the commodification of everything under global capitalism. Misha derives his multiculturalism from his liberal arts alma mater “Accidental College,” and Shteyngart's swipe at academia is the occasion for this chapter's discussion of how and why culture has become so venerated by some commentators and so discredited by others. Working toward a reconstructed pragmatic account of the efficacy of culture, the chapter also considers what culture has meant and can come to mean again for Jewish American literature, by looking backwards to a text with surprising parallels to Absurdistan, the memoir of the nineteenth-century Jewish homesteader Rachel Calof.

Keywords:   Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan, Rachel Calof, multiculturalism, culture, Jewish American literature

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.