By Michael W. Clune
The years after international struggle have obvious a common fascination with the unfastened industry. Michael W. Clune considers this fascination in postwar literature. within the fictional worlds created by way of works starting from Frank O'Hara's poetry to nineties gangster rap, the industry is reworked, providing an alternate kind of lifestyles, detailed from either the social visions of the left and the individualist ethos of the suitable. those rules additionally supply an unsettling instance of the way paintings takes on social strength via supplying an get away from society. American Literature and the loose industry provides a brand new viewpoint on a couple of huge ranging works for readers of yankee post-war literature.
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Extra resources for American Literature and the Free Market, 1945-2000
In his preface to the first edition, Marx writes:Â€ “I paint the capitalist and landlord in no sense coleur de rose. ”â•›36 What appears to the naive observer as the greedy, evil, or crazy intention of the capitalist, is in fact the effect of the capitalist system. 38 Marx draws a metaphor from biology to suggest that the personification of economic categories is related to another error:Â€personifying the market itself. To an untrained eye, he writes, the market appears as a single body. 40 The poem “Das Kapital” moves in the opposite direction, personifying the system.
Like shape or color or spatial position, the price is a feature of his experience of the thing. Price structures his perception by organizing the objects and activities in his immediate context in terms of how easy or hard it is for him to get them. Price does this by adding an element to his experience of a thing that positions it in relation to every other thing in the world. Because things show up for JR in this global context, he notices things that don’t show up for people not attuned to price in this way.
Where should we look for this alternative, non-intersubjective relational space? To approach this question, I now want to move across mediums and decades. Paul Thomas Anderson’s film There Will Be Blood centers on a character who, like Esther, is acutely conscious of the flaws of intersubjective relations, and intensely aware of the fascination of an alternative mode of relation. In what follows I will be interested not simply in the themes that link the two works, but in the distance that lies between them.