Modernist Mapping and Post-postmodern Feeling: The Rhizomatic Framework of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth

Abstract

Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000) self-consciously foregrounds its structure, shape, and organisation, doing so to channel modernist legacies of the encyclopaedic novel. But Smith also reacts against postmodernism’s extension of this experimental framework – an extension which in the second half of the twentieth century was bolstered by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of the ‘rhizome’. Resisting the threats of stasis and unfeeling that come with this development, Smith’s work can be seen as engaging with post-postmodern affect and sincerity, which in the case of White Teeth facilitates a vital discussion of the subject of race.

Keywords

race, Zadie Smith, White Teeth, postmodernism, modernism, post-postmodernism, unfeeling, sincerity, affect, chance

How to Cite

Kowalik, G., (2022) “Modernist Mapping and Post-postmodern Feeling: The Rhizomatic Framework of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth”, Moveable Type 14(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.1755-4527.132

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George Kowalik (King's College London)

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