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Studies in Duplicity
RRP: GBP 8.79
ISBN: 978 1 784109 85 1
Categories: 21st Century, Art, British, LGBTQ+, Women
Imprint: Little Island Press
Published: October 2019
120 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
To double-track is to be both: counter-cultural and establishment, rich and poor, a bum with the keys to a country retreat, an exotic addition to the dinner table who still knows how to find their way around the silverware.
In the 1970s Tom Wolfe located the apex of doubletracking as the art world, but today, it's a cornerstone of the middle classes, and a full-blown commonplace of contemporary life. At root, it's a state of mind born of an ambivalent relationship to privilege, that, when perfected, allows those with financial resources the economic benefits of leaning right, and the cultural benefits of leaning left. It curls around the vocal chords of private school alumni as they drop their consonants, sprays the can of legally sanctioned graffiti on the side of the pop-up container shopping mall, and tones the cores of sweaty executives attending weekly parkour classes, prancing about the concrete furniture of housing estates they do not live on.
Comprising essays, fiction and art criticism, this is a merciless, witty satire of the middle classes - a venturesome, intelligent debut which cuts to the very core of our duplicitous lives.
'Mclaughlin presents a series of engaging chapters in the forms of historical essays; droll, first-person commentaries; and satirical vignettes... The book's greatest challenges are to avoid snideness or preaching to the choir, and Mclaughlin dodges both traps, instead drawing her reader toward a deeper questioning of working class appropriation and its perverse presence in the art world and middle-class liberalism.'
Esmé Hogeveen, The Brooklyn Rail
'A glorious, smart, not-a-word-in-excess takedown of some of the most insidious behaviours of the privileged. I loved it.'
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