The rise and fall of "emotional capitalism": Consumerism and materialities of love in dystopian works by Thomas Melle, Leif Randt and Gary Shteyngart

Michael Gratzke (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    This chapter traces three distinct literary models for testing "the boundaries of reality" as well as "narrative vocabularies": a focus on vulnerabilities as expressed in a doomed revolt, a thinking through to the breaking points of consumer capitalism, and finally a dystopia disguised as utopia in which over-affirmation and equivocation open opportunities for critical discourse where it would be least expected. The price Thorsten pays for his full immersion in consumer capitalism is addiction. The material is the last resort of resistance because the minds of Thomas Melle's characters have been colonized: where Thorsten speaks in corporate jargon, Laura struggles to distinguish between pornography and romance. Schimmernder Dunst uber CobyCounty contributes a specific attitude to dystopian love literature which is the heuristic use of equivocation. Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story shares its dystopian genre, the use of fictional diary entries, and the love triangle as plot device with Sickster, but differs in its setting and use of humor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Materiality of Love
    Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Affection and Cultural Practice
    EditorsAnna Malinowska, Michael Gratzke
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherTaylor & Francis
    Chapter7
    Pages101-117
    Number of pages17
    Edition1
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351856713
    ISBN (Print)9780415783828
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

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    Cite this

    Gratzke, M. (2017). The rise and fall of "emotional capitalism": Consumerism and materialities of love in dystopian works by Thomas Melle, Leif Randt and Gary Shteyngart. In A. Malinowska, & M. Gratzke (Eds.), The Materiality of Love: Essays on Affection and Cultural Practice (1 ed., pp. 101-117). (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies). Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315228631-8