By Rachel Greenwald Smith
Rachel Greenwald Smith's impact and American Literature within the Age of Neoliberalism examines the connection among American literature and politics within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Smith contends that the illustration of feelings in modern fiction emphasizes the non-public lives of characters at a time whilst there's an extraordinary, and sometimes destructive, specialize in the person in American lifestyles. via readings of works by way of Paul Auster, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ben Marcus, Lydia Millet, and others who level experiments within the courting among feeling and shape, Smith argues for the centrality of a counter-tradition in modern literature thinking about impersonal emotions: emotions that problem the neoliberal concept that feelings are the valuables of the self.
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Additional resources for Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism
If literary circulation is understood to function on the model of the ecosystem rather than on the model of the market, then the various people who come into contact with a book – writers, readers, booksellers, or reviewers – are not merely instigators and consumers of emotional value. Instead, works of literature can be understood to materially influence those with whom they come into contact in ways not entirely circumscribed by the various roles of buyer and seller that inform that contact. A work of literature, in this view, is itself an active participant in an ecosystem, a participant that is the result of human activity and that has effects primarily on humans, but that once unleashed in the world can have unpredictable effects on those with whom it comes into contact.
If the local symphony plays too much twentieth-century music, you cancel your subscription. You’re the consumer; you rule. ) Most of us who have experienced the increasing tendency for college students to see themselves as consumers and for administrators to envision themselves as CEOs recognize this problem as one that Contract writing shares with the corporate model of the university. Both take an activity that was once understood in terms that were if not entirely distinct from then at least somewhat in tension with those of the market, and make it unproblematically subject to an entirely market-based logic.
The alternative, Franzen argues, is a model in which “a novel represents a compact between the writer and the reader, with the writer providing words out of which the reader creates a pleasurable experience. ” Explaining his increasing sympathy with this approach to literature he writes: Every writer is first a member of a community of readers, and the deepest purpose of reading and writing fiction is to sustain a sense of connectedness, to resist existential loneliness; and so a novel deserves a reader’s attention only as long as the author sustains the reader’s trust.
Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism by Rachel Greenwald Smith