“How do you even know what the truth is?”

There is no arguing with Gary Shteyngart that much Old-World nastiness, including anti-Semitism, has lately spread from the fringes of online alt-rightism. We would likely disagree on the dimension and perniciousness of those fringes. In the eyes of the novelist, Stormfront trolls must have played the same part in Trump’s success as the Kremlin’s narrative once ascribed to extreme Ukrainian nationalists in the 2014 Kiev revolution. Gary Shteyngart is an acclaimed master of grotesque.

He goes on to describe Trump in Rothian terms, swerves eastwards, and returns to New York City:

My parents and grandparents never fully recovered from the strains of having lived in an authoritarian society… How do you read through a newspaper composed solely of lies?.. How do you even know what the truth is?

Good questions. Why do you think they are irrelevant in a free society? Living in a low-trust, high-suspicion society can turn you into a cynic, misanthrope and utter pessimist but it will surely do wonders for your BS detector. If you think it’s redundant, I have stuff to sell you.

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