163 Pages
English

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Literature and Inequality

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Description

Understanding high-end inequality through great works of literature


Today, high-end inequality in America and peer countries is at Gilded Age levels. These matters are too important and complicated to be left just to economists. A broader sociological and humanistic approach is necessary. Great works of literature, such as those by the likes of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton, are among the resources that can help us to better understand high-end inequality’s broader, culturally contingent, ramifications – not just in the authors’ own eras but today.


Daniel Shaviro’s Literature and Inequality offers a unique and accessible interdisciplinary take on how a number of great and beloved works from the nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries help shed light on modern high-end inequality. In particular, Shaviro helps us to understand the relevance both of cultural differences between America and peer countries such as England and France, and of cultural commonalities between America’s First Gilded Age in the late-nineteenth century and its currently ongoing Second Gilded Age.


Introduction; PART ONE: ENGLAND AND FRANCE DURING THE AGE OF REVOLUTION; Why Aren’t Things Better Than This? Class Relations Within the Top One Percent in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; A Rising Tide Rocks All Boats: The Threat of Rising Prosperity in Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir; Arrivistes, Rentiers, Mandarins, and Flunkies in Honoré de Balzac’s Le Père Goriot; PART TWO: ENGLAND FROM THE 1840S THROUGH THE START OF WORLD WAR I; Why Do “Scrooge Truthers” Hate Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?; Not to Blame? Plutocrats, Capitalism, and Foreigners in Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now; Unconnected: Rentier Intellectuals Uber Alles in E.M. Forster’s Howards End; PART THREE: GILDED AGE AMERICA; Anti-Success Manual? Mark Twain’s and Charles Dudley Warner’s The Gilded Age; No Success Like Failure? Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth; Superhero or Bungler? Frank Cowperwood / Charles Yerkes in Theodore Dreiser’s The Financier and The Titan; Conclusion; Index.

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Published 31 March 2020
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EAN13 9781785273681
Language English

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