TV review | ‘Crazy Leftist’ Naomi Klein’s Lesson in ‘Tegenlicht’: The Double Points You to the Dark Side of Yourself

TV review |  'Crazy Leftist' Naomi Klein's Lesson in 'Tegenlicht': The Double Points You to the Dark Side of Yourself

In the story “Conversation, 1945” Vladimir Nabokov has a name that is sympathetic to the Nazis. They have never met, but to the writer’s annoyance, he is constantly confused with this pair. For example, he accidentally ended up in a pro-German party because they both had an acquaintance named Mrs. Sharp.

Canadian activist-writer Naomi Klein faces the same problem: she’s confused with Naomi Wolf. There’s even one on her Wiki page Disclaimer: “Not to be confused with Naomi Wolf.” Not surprisingly: the names are similar and they are both political thinkers who became icons of the new feminist and anti-capitalist movement at an early age in the United States in the 1990s. To be honest, until Sunday night I also thought they were the same person.

At first Klein didn’t mind, until Wolf fell into the clutches of the far right as an anti-vaxxer during the Covid pandemic. Klein was initially very angry about this slander of her good name. Until she realized that double could teach her something. This led to the book last year Similar…a similar person And Sunday in a wonderful and long interview Backlight (NPO2).

Enough of the annoyance of doppelgangers in literature, they are often potential illusions. At Dostoyevsky Similar…a similar person The main character encounters a better, more socially adept version of himself. in Damocles Dark Room By W. F. Hermans The main character believes he is committing acts of resistance when in reality he is collaborating under the influence of his dark counterpart. in Operation Shylock In Israel, during the First Intifada, he meets Philip Roth, a duplicitous individual who strives to return Jews to Europe, much to the delight of the Palestinians. Klein mentions the murderous doppelgänger family in the film we.

The dark side of yourself

According to Klein, mistaken identity taught her to sympathize with conspiracy theorists like Wolfe. Moreover, it taught her to confront the failure of the left, which she believes has left a vacuum in politics to be filled by the far right. According to her, a double is always someone who points out the dark side of yourself, or the side you don’t want to face. “A dual person always holds a mirror up to you.”

Doppelgänger theme exists Backlight By the way, leave quickly, only to come back again at the end. Klein mainly presents her perspective on the rise of the far right. It is nice that it focuses extensively on the situation in the Netherlands. Klein uses the famous scene in the SBS6 debate in which Wilders attacks PVD leader Frans Timmermans over personal contribution to healthcare costs to illustrate her point that the left’s inability to connect with ordinary people is why populists do so well. However, according to her, the great danger lies in the enormous distance of Westerners, also with regard to Gaza, refugees and climate: “It is shocking to see how normal and easy it has become, and how good we have become at averting our eyes.”

At the end of Nabokov’s story, the person with the same name comes to complain to him in writing. The Nazi namesake seems more bothered by the name confusion than the writer. He is demanding financial compensation: the amount he requested was very modest.” It would be great if Naomi Wolf wrote a book now about the inconvenience she’s having because she’s always so confused with that crazy leftist Naomi Klein.

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