Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

My interest in kinship grew out of an interest in literary form, especially how narratives represent themselves to the reader. One time-honored device of this kind is the mirror, which inherently stresses issues of representation and mimesis. In Nabokov’s 1925 short story “Guide to Berlin,” the narrator looks into a pub mirror...

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1. A Universe Akin

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pp. 13-44

The main character of Andrei Bely’s 1916 novel Petersburg, Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov, has his father’s ears—oversized greenish ones that protrude from either side of his head. On a literal plane of reference, of course, this statement is bizarre. The ears are patently Nikolai Apollonovich’s own. Moreover, if we...

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2. A World of Mirrors

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pp. 45-72

The world of Petersburg is “engendered” by cerebral play, but it is also reflected in the mirror of art. Both cerebral and specular metaphors permeate the Ableukhov family home. A metaphorical mind, its carpeted steps are “like the convolutions of the brain,” and its doors disclose “no drawing room . . . but rather, cerebral spaces...

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3. Haunted Households

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pp. 73-110

“It is not our purpose to trace down the history of the Pyncheon family,” begins Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 romance The House of the Seven Gables, “nor to show as in a magic picture, how the rustiness and infirmity of age gathered over the venerable house itself.”1 The book’s preface contradicts these sentiments, however...

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4. The Land of Milk and Money

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pp. 111-138

Friedrich Engels projected that the end of private property would entail a release from the private household: “The coming social revolution will reduce to a minimum all this anxiety about bequeathing and inheriting.”1 Although capitalism was more resilient than Engels expected, the Soviet Union in its first and...

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Afterword: Stock Exchanges

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pp. 139-144

“Man makes man,” writes Aristotle. His tersely worded observation might be read as a statement about biological reproduction, by which human beings make more human beings; about mimetic representation, through which human beings create legible images of themselves; or about thought, which generates and defines...

Notes

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pp. 145-174

Bibliography

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pp. 175-186

Index

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pp. 187-193