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The Underside of PoliticsGlobal Fictions in the Fog of the Cold War$
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Sorin Radu Cucu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254347

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254347.001.0001

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The Vicissitudes of Popular Sovereignty

The Vicissitudes of Popular Sovereignty

(p.74) 2 The Vicissitudes of Popular Sovereignty
The Underside of Politics

Sorin Radu Cucu

Fordham University Press

This chapter first analyzes Milan Kundera's novel The Joke (1967). It argues that the novel constructs a narrative economy that establishes complex links between the erotic and the political in the context of Cold War discourse. The discussion then turns to Philip Roth's novel I Married a Communist, one of the most eloquent examples in American contemporary fiction of what Kundera called the “privatization” of the political. It is argued that I Married a Communist is not only a Cold War text, but is also a novel about the legitimacy of pragmatic selfishness in American culture.

Keywords:   Milan Kundera, The Joke, Cold War discourse, Philip Roth, I Married a Communist, privatization, American culture

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