Authored by: Christian P. Haines

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138190870
eBook ISBN: 9781315640808
Adobe ISBN:


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‘If we were arriviste /we’d have arrived already. / Securities speak. / They say, “Take comfort.” / Money cancels criticism.’ (97) writes Alissa Quart in her collection of poetry Monetized (2015), which asks after the condition of poetry in a society saturated by finance. Monetized offers a phenomenology of financialisation, or an account of the affective and experiential textures that emerge from the increasing dominance of finance capital and financial techniques over everyday life. In doing so, it suggests that there may be no space left for lyric experience, and no margin of critique in which poetry can speak truth to power. If poetry, at least since the Romantic period, has frequently articulated itself as critical of the reigning social order, financialisation would appear to saturate existence with a calculability – a fiscal accountability – that denies this position of alterity. ‘Money,’ Quart writes, ‘cancels criticism’: the very place of the speaking subject, or lyric person, is usurped by securities who speak in ‘our’ place. In this world of speculation, criticism ages without grace, crumbling like those long-ago abandoned factories that litter the U.S. rust belt.

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