Markets, Crises, and Crowds in American Fiction
Автор(и) : David A. Zimmerman
Издател : The University of North Carolina Press
Място на издаване : Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Година на издаване : 2006
ISBN : 978-0-8078-3023-9
Брой страници : 294
Език : английски
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During the economic depression of the 1890s and the speculative frenzy of the following decade, Wall Street, high finance, and market crises assumed unprecedented visibility in the United States. Fiction writers published scores of novels that explored this new cultural phenomenon. In Panic, David A. Zimmerman studies how American novelists and their readers imagined--and in one case, incited--market crashes and financial panics. Panic examines how Americans' understandings of and attitudes toward securities markets, popular investment, and financial catastrophe were entangled with their conceptions of gender, class, crowds, and history. Blending literary, historical, and cultural analysis, Zimmerman investigates how writers turned to fledgling research in mob psychology, psychic investigations, and conspiracy discourse to understand how mass acts of reading and popular participation in the corporate transformation of the American economy could trigger financial disaster and cultural chaos. In addition, Zimmerman shows how writers, by experimenting with sensationalism, sympathy, the sublime, melodrama, and naturalism, explored the limits of fiction's aesthetic, economic, and ethical capacities in their portrayals of markets in crisis. With readings of canonical as well as lesser-known novelists, Zimmerman provides an original and wide-ranging analysis of the relation between fiction and financial modernity.
"An inventive and valuable addition to the scholarship addressing the interpenetration of economics and literature specifically and to studies of the modern United States more generally. . . . An imaginative and rich analysis of financial panic's literary coordinates."
-Modern Fiction Studies
"Both a valuable contribution to the field and a methodological exemplar for further study. . . . Many studies provide context, but Panic! shifts seamlessly between strict historicism and the innovative, culturally specific histories necessary for a full understanding of the novels Zimmerman discusses. . . . Remarkably deep analyses."
-Studies in American Naturalism