Doppelganger

A Trip into the Mirror World

English language

Published Sept. 4, 2023 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

ISBN:
978-0-374-61032-6
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5 stars (15 reviews)

What if you woke up one morning and found you’d acquired another self—a double who was almost you and yet not you at all? What if that double shared many of your preoccupations but, in a twisted, upside-down way, furthered the very causes you’d devoted your life to fighting against?

Not long ago, the celebrated activist and public intellectual Naomi Klein had just such an experience—she was confronted with a doppelganger whose views she found abhorrent but whose name and public persona were sufficiently similar to her own that many people got confused about who was who. Destabilized, she lost her bearings, until she began to understand the experience as one manifestation of a strangeness many of us have come to know but struggle to define: AI-generated text is blurring the line between genuine and spurious communication; New Age wellness entrepreneurs turned anti-vaxxers are scrambling familiar political allegiances of left …

5 editions

A broken mirror

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I think I wanted this to be something slightly different than what it was—less on Wolfe and contemporary politics, and more on the concept of doubling, more abstract and literary, less political. It has elements of both, and autobiography in a way that seems quite new (and welcome) for Klein, so more an issue of proportion than of kind. As it is, I found this interesting in the moment but didn’t find a lot to take away with me.

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