• Book review: Paul Crosthwaite, The market logics of contemporary fiction, Cambridge studies in twenty-first century literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. xi 306pp ISBN 978-1-108-49956-9 (Hbk)

      Weedon, Alexis (2021-03-15)
      New Economic Criticism has worked across the disciplinary boundaries of literary and cultural history and postmodern economics. Crosthwaite cites as a starting point of this book Pierre Bourdieu’s criticism of neoliberalism as a programme aimed at removing all structures which get in the way of market logics – that is the commercial forces which drive sales. He sets this against Modernist aesthetic isolationism and pitches Frederic Jameson’s argument that the independent cultural sphere preserved by Modernism was over thrown by the invasive commercialism which pervades Postmodernism. His argument is that the literary sphere has been invaded by financialisation and fiduciary exchangeability which leads us to trust imaginary things from paper money to hedge funds and suspend out disbelief. From this position he presents his reading of the economic storylines in fiction, and the book trades’ constructs of price-points, genres, formats, agreements, prizes, and the performative stances of authors who interrogate the market economics of their fiction.