Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Construction of WhitenessAn Interdisciplinary Analysis of Race Formation and the Meaning of a White Identity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Middleton, David R. Roediger, and Donald M. Shaffer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496805553

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496805553.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 23 July 2018

About Schmidt’s Whiteness

About Schmidt’s Whiteness

The Emotional Landscapes of WASP Masculinity

(p.181) 7 About Schmidt’s Whiteness
The Construction of Whiteness

Tim Engles

University Press of Mississippi

Drawing on recent work in affect studies and on analyses of white masculinity in European American literature and other modes of cultural production, this essay explicates the depiction in Louis Begley’s novel About Schmidt (1996) of a contemporary white male psyche in crisis. Begley’s protagonist, 60-year old widower and recently retired lawyer Albert Schmidt, embodies and enacts the emotional atrophy and consequent “ugly feelings,” in Sianne Ngai’s terms, of a late-twentieth century, self-declared and self-sabotaging White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. In this satiric, traditionally literary novel, the central character demonstrates that in part because, in Thandeka’s psychoanalytic terms, he has “learned to be white” via identity-forming imaginings of racialized others, he has yet to achieve a mature degree of compassionate humanity

Keywords:   White masculinity, WASP, Emotional atrophy, Satire, Psychoanalytic

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.