Super Deluxe Whiteness: Privilege Critique in Paul Beatty&apos;s <i>The Sellout</i>

Super Deluxe Whiteness: Privilege Critique in Paul Beatty's The Sellout SUPER DELUXE WHITENESS: PRIVILEGE CRITIQUE IN PAUL BEATTY’S THE SELLOUT STEVEN DELMAGORI In 2016, Paul Beatty became the fi rst American author to win the Man Booker Award (Dean 2016). The distinction was the second award he received for his 2015 satirical novel The Sellout; the fi rst was the National Book Critics Circle’s fi ction award (Alter 2016). While receiving high accolades upon publication, the novel saw a “small release,” and although academic scholarship has yet to thoroughly engage with it, The Sellout is a novel of primary importance that wrestles with the dialectic of racism and class inequality in a neoliberal climate (Dean 2016). With discussions of these systems of oppression in mainstream political discourse having become fraught and absurd, Beatty’s narrator, Me—who is later nicknamed Bonbon—“whisper[s] ‘racism’ in a post-racial world” (Beatty 2015, 262), in order to reveal the absurdity in the idea of a “post-racial” anything, and through the novel Beatty skewers white supremacy, class oppression, and the privileges that derive from such oppressions in our contemporary, neoliberal moment. In that light, the novel provides a more effective lens for exploring the critique of privilege because it illuminates the larger social order and the ways http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

Super Deluxe Whiteness: Privilege Critique in Paul Beatty&apos;s <i>The Sellout</i>

symploke, Volume 26 (1) – Nov 28, 2018

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

SUPER DELUXE WHITENESS: PRIVILEGE CRITIQUE IN PAUL BEATTY’S THE SELLOUT STEVEN DELMAGORI In 2016, Paul Beatty became the fi rst American author to win the Man Booker Award (Dean 2016). The distinction was the second award he received for his 2015 satirical novel The Sellout; the fi rst was the National Book Critics Circle’s fi ction award (Alter 2016). While receiving high accolades upon publication, the novel saw a “small release,” and although academic scholarship has yet to thoroughly engage with it, The Sellout is a novel of primary importance that wrestles with the dialectic of racism and class inequality in a neoliberal climate (Dean 2016). With discussions of these systems of oppression in mainstream political discourse having become fraught and absurd, Beatty’s narrator, Me—who is later nicknamed Bonbon—“whisper[s] ‘racism’ in a post-racial world” (Beatty 2015, 262), in order to reveal the absurdity in the idea of a “post-racial” anything, and through the novel Beatty skewers white supremacy, class oppression, and the privileges that derive from such oppressions in our contemporary, neoliberal moment. In that light, the novel provides a more effective lens for exploring the critique of privilege because it illuminates the larger social order and the ways

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Nov 28, 2018

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