Abstract

Recent work in eighteenth-century studies has been notoriously preoccupied by what seem to be striking metaphorical resonances between economic and aesthetic 'spheres of practice,' but, as I argue in my paper, it is the confounding of these analogies that may be most salient. Although Edgeworth's Belinda has been frequently read as demystifying aristocratic codes by replacing sharp sociality with good-natured bourgeois instruction, I show that this text imagines the difference between bourgeois and gift economies not as the substitution of humor's instructive mirth for wit's arch conceits, but as a spectacular encounter between the two.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 575-596
Launched on MUSE
2003-06-18
Open Access
No
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