American Literature and the Free Market, 1945-2000 by Michael W. Clune

By Michael W. Clune

The years after international struggle have visible a frequent fascination with the loose marketplace. Michael W. Clune considers this fascination in postwar literature. within the fictional worlds created by means of works starting from Frank O'Hara's poetry to nineties gangster rap, the marketplace is reworked, delivering another type of lifestyles, particular from either the social visions of the left and the individualist ethos of the perfect. those principles additionally offer an unsettling instance of ways paintings takes on social strength through delivering an break out from society. American Literature and the loose industry provides a brand new standpoint on a few broad ranging works for readers of yank post-war literature.

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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. This distance in time and difference in mediums underwrites the film’s ability to provide a perspective on The Bell Jar’s fiction of an alternative to intersubjectivity.

Plainview talks in the same way both to a hall full of farmers and to his son. In a key scene roughly halfway through the film, while talking by a bonfire with a man he presumes to be his long-lost brother, Plainview makes a confession that illuminates the desire that fuels the furious commercial activities that consume him. “I hate most people,” he says. ” He expresses these sentiments in his perfect, artificial salesman’s voice. Freedom from you 39 “I€want to make enough money so I can get away from everyone,” he says.

A new form of subjectivity emerges in this aesthetic space. In the character JR, Gaddis creates a figure who is exemplary in Heidegger’s world-disclosing sense. JR, an eleven-year-old boy who makes millions of dollars trading picnic forks and scrap metal, could not be farther from the modern image of the entrepreneur. 33 The heroic modernist entrepreneur imposes a powerful individual interpretation on the world. JR’s success as a market agent, on the other hand, is due to his awareness of opportunities.

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