Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Table of Contents

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p. v

List of Illustrations

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

For bearing with my graph obsession during the collapsed-bubble to collapsed-bubble period in which this book was written; for their willingness to listen, read, and advise; and for a truly unquantifiable amount of moral support, I am deeply indebted to Peter Schwartz...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

Galton’s reverie expresses pleasure in the order and arrangement of a hitherto unorganized mass: the shape of the curve and the “invariable” proportions in which it flows. Anarchic elements are taken in hand and marshaled into a row—marshaled, indeed, into an...

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1. Middlemarch: The Affective Life of the Average Man

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pp. 23-41

The jewels are, of course, an allegory, considered in their settings as the women are considered in theirs. Dorothea and Celia assess them in that function, as frameworks for the wearer’s complexion and clothing, showing both to advantage as they themselves...

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2. Cardiac Excitability: Impulse, Restraint, and "the Pulse of the People"

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pp. 42-62

In popular discourse, the stock market has long held the status of a force of nature: “Like the ocean,” wrote Philip Carret in 1930, “the stock market is never still” (xv). It is assumed to follow the law of gravity—“what goes up must come down”—as well as the psychological...

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3. Trollope in the Stock Market: Irrational Exuberance and The Prime Minister

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pp. 63-80

A television advertisement for CNBC, aired frequently before the late-2000 economic decline, features a digital stock ticker projected across the chest of a railway commuter, its numbers coursing around him in a continuous, moving ribbon (figure 4). Like an EKG, or some new...

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4. David Copperfield's Happiness Economics

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pp. 81-101

David Copperfield’s narrative is punctuated by moments of which David remarks, as he does of an evening once passed with his mother and his nurse Peggotty, “we were very happy.” Including a chapter entitled “One Happy Afternoon,” sprinkled throughout with...

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Conclusion: Distant Reading

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pp. 102-114

Despite the now-commonplace deconstructive take on science and scientific authority in literary and cultural criticism, and despite work that points precisely in its direction—in sociology, statistics, and economic theory, by Canguilhem, Desrosières, Theodore Porter...

Notes

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pp. 115-128

Works Cited

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pp. 129-133

Index

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pp. 135-138