Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-ix

Contents

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pp. x-xi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xii-xiii

...Many of those who contributed to this book are thanked within: I would like to take this opportunity to thank some who aren't: Kenneth Abraham, Richard Bridgman, Wai-CheeDimock, Stanley Fish, Barbara Freeman, Stephen Greenblatt, Ruth Leys, Mark Maslan, Franny Nudelman, Richard Poirier, Lynn Wardley. And I would like to acknowledge...

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Introduction: The Writer's Mark

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pp. 1-28

...In fact, the desire to produce precedes even the desire to consume: " 'I want to mark!'" cries the child, demanding the pencil. He does not want to eat. He wants to mark" (116-17). Not only is production imagined here as the most primitive desire, it is imagined as in some sense more primitive than any desire can be. Children may "want" to mark, but glands don't want to secrete, and insofar as the child...

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1. Sister Carrie's Popular Economy

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pp. 29-58

...When this is understood, "many of our social, religious, and political troubles will have permanently passed" (48). He then emphasizes what he calls "the relative value of the thing," invoking the example of the wealthy traveler stranded on a desert island, where all the money in the world has "no value" because there is nothing to buy and no one to buy from...

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2. Dreiser's Financier: The Man of Business as a Man of Letters

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pp. 59-84

...Semple, the mistress Aileen Butler, and the general description of wives and mistresses is, at least to some extent, a report of their respective personalities. Aileen is excessive in everything; her innate love of "lavishness" leads her particularly to admire the "rather exaggerated curtsies" (88) the nuns teach her in convent school. She wears "far too many rings" (137), and her choice of clothes is always "a little too emphatic" (124). Lillian's charm, by...

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3. Romance and Real Estate

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pp. 85-112

...Henry James asked to be shown the "House of the Seven Gables" and was led by his guide to an "object" so "shapeless," so "weak" and "vague," that at first sight he could only murmur, "Dear, dear, are you very sure?" In an instant, however, James and the guide ("a dear little harsh, intelligent, sympathetic American boy") had together "thrown off" their sense that the house "wouldn't do at all" by reminding themselves that there...

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4. The Phenomenology of Contract

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pp. 113-136

...The literary origins of Case 57's masochism are in keeping with its literary genealogy (Krafft-Ebing named it, of course, after the novelist Sacher-Masoch); more important, they help to mark what was for Krafft-Ebing the essence of sex ual perversity, its "purely psychical" character. Case 57 never attempts to act out his masochistic impulses, to "connect them with the world," because, bethinks, neither a hired woman nor a real-life Messalina could...

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5. The Gold Standard and the Logic of Naturalism

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pp. 137-180

...Norris, saved "without knowing why"—"without any thought, without idea of consequence—saving for the sake of saving."1 But to say that Trina saved for the sake of saving doesn't so much explain her behavior as identify the behavior in need of explanation: why would anyone save just for the sake of saving? Psychology in the...

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6. Corporate Fiction

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pp. 181-214

...Norris contrives a dramatic way of illustrating some of the consequences of this event. He cuts back and forth between scenes of the immigrant rancher's widow Mrs. Hooven and her daughter starving in the streets of San Francisco and scenes of a fashionable dinner party at the home of the railroad magnate Gerard. The...

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7. Action and Accident: Photography and Writing

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pp. 215-244

...The question today is, what are the relations between photographs and the objects they are photographs of? In contrast, many writers in the late nineteenth century (and some into the twentieth) were more disturbed by the relations between the photograph and the photographer: they worried instead about how photographs were made. From this perspective, the debate over whether...

Index

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pp. 245-248