American Literature and the Free Market, 1945-2000 by Michael W. Clune

By Michael W. Clune

The years after international conflict have visible a frequent fascination with the loose marketplace. Michael W. Clune considers this fascination in postwar literature. within the fictional worlds created through works starting from Frank O'Hara's poetry to nineties gangster rap, the industry is remodeled, delivering another kind of existence, specified from either the social visions of the left and the individualist ethos of the perfect. those principles additionally supply an unsettling instance of ways paintings takes on social strength through supplying an get away from society. American Literature and the unfastened industry provides a brand new viewpoint on a couple of vast ranging works for readers of yankee post-war literature.

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The critical equation of consciousness and recognition has made this dynamic difficult to see. Some later criticism, beginning with Jacqueline Rose’s study The Haunting of Sylvia Plath, mistakes Plath’s attack on intersubjectivity for an attack on subjectivity as such. ”â•›13 In one important sense, Rose and Britzolakis are right. A major theme of Plath’s poetry is the “crisis” of subjectivity, the revelation of its makeshift inauthenticity, its scars and gaps. However, as I will show, this crisis does not proceed from the inherent contradictions of subjectivity, as the critics believe, but from what Plath takes to be the inherent contradictions of recognition.

30) Plainview, as acted by Daniel Day Lewis, speaks in a loud, clear, and rather artificial voice, the voice of a salesman. ” He speaks in a tone adapted to crowds of customers; it sounds odd in close, intimate spaces. In a striking feature of Lewis’ performance, this salesman’s tone is never dropped. Plainview talks in the same way both to a hall full of farmers and to his son. In a key scene roughly halfway through the film, while talking by a bonfire with a man he presumes to be his long-lost brother, Plainview makes a confession that illuminates the desire that fuels the furious commercial activities that consume him.

Cowperwood, for example, does not believe in the information conveyed by price. 34 Cowperwood relies on his own analysis of underlying social and economic conditions, an analysis at odds with the picture presented by falling prices. On the basis of this analysis, he guesses the prices will soon rise dramatically, and buys as much as he can. He turns out to be right, makes millions, and goes on to become The Titan of Dreiser’s sequel. But if the classic image of the entrepreneur involves out-thinking the market, JR’s success depends on an incapacity to think, or even to perceive, outside the picture of the world presented by price.

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