Met huid en haar aan de realiteit overgeleverd. Arnon Grunberg in het licht van het kapitalistisch realisme en het post-postmodernisme

Laurens Ham


Realism, it is often claimed by (neo)marxist critics, is closely linked to capitalism. Realist novels are narrated in such a way that the capitalist ‘status quo’ is not questioned, but actually reproduced. This article discusses Arnon Grunberg’s novel Huid en Haar (2010) in the light of ‘capitalist realism’. First, the (neo) marxist discussions of realism (Lukács and Brecht), postmodernism (Jameson) and capitalist realism (Fisher, Shonkwiler and La Berge) are analyzed. In the subsequent interpretation of Huid en Haar, the capitalist connotations of style, metaphors, plot and focalization are discussed, with a close attention to the problem of empathy in this novel. Although Huid en Haar seems to reproduce a capitalist reality, it cannot be said that it does so uncritically. But instead of explicitly satirizing capitalist discourse, the novel ‘overidentifies’ with a capitalist position, which seems typical for so-called ‘post-postmodernist’ texts.

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