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The Economy of Character : Novels, Market Culture and the Business of Inner Meaning - Deidre Lynch

The Economy of Character

Novels, Market Culture and the Business of Inner Meaning

Paperback Published: 1st January 1998
ISBN: 9780226498201
Number Of Pages: 326

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At the start of the eighteenth century, talk of literary "characters" referred as much to letters and typefaces as it did to persons in books. Yet by the nineteenth century, characters had become the equals of their readers, friends with whom readers might spend time and empathize.
Although the story of this shift is usually told in terms of the "rise of the individual," Deidre Shauna Lynch proposes an ingenious alternative interpretation. Elaborating a "pragmatics of character," Lynch shows how readers used transactions with characters to accommodate themselves to newly commercialized social relations. Searching for the inner meanings of characters allowed readers both to plumb their own inwardness and to distinguish themselves from others. In a culture of mass consumption, argues Lynch, possessing a belief in the inexpressible interior life of a character rendered one's property truly private.
Ranging from Defoe and Smollett to Burney and Austen, Lynch's account will interest students of the novel, literary historians, and anyone concerned with the inner workings of consumer culture and the history of emotions.

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Recognizing Characters
The Economies of Characteristic Writing
Fleshing Out Characters
Fictions of Social Circulation, 1742-1782
Inside Stories
"Round" Characters and Romantic-Period Reading Relations
Agoraphobia and Interiority in Frances Burney's Fiction
Jane Austen and the Social Machine Conclusion: The Real Thing and the "Work" of Literature in Nineteenth-Century Culture
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226498201
ISBN-10: 0226498204
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 326
Published: 1st January 1998
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.01
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 2