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Fictions of Capital

The American Novel from James to Mailer (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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Language:English | Number of Pages: 300 | Format: Paperback

Isbn-10: 0521064031 | Isbn-13: 9780521064033 | Publish date:  | Edition 1

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Book Description
Fictions of Capital situates manners and writing about manners in the context of American capitalism between 1880 and 1960, a period that runs from the onset of the sales culture to its war-prompted crisis point in the 1960s. The work of various economic theorists and historians is used to establish two of capitalism's deeper narratives: the plot to accumulate and expand resources (1880 to the First World War), and the plot to ensure reproduction of the expanded resources (preoccupying late capitalism, but already an issue for market leaders in the 1920s). James and Fitzgerald are read as the key novelists of bourgeois affluence, their juxtaposition covers the scope of Incorporation, from the initial accumulation to the problems of how accumulations are to be reproduced. The relation between Fitzgerald and Mailer is explored as a way into new tensions in the growth imperative, resolved though the linking of Destruction, or the permanent arms economy, to Desire, or the ubiquitous shop-window, as a capitalist incentive.