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    Modernism and Market Fantasy

    By: Carey James Mickalites

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    In Modernism and Market Fantasy, Carey Mickalites explores British modernist fiction's critical designs on the changing economic culture in which it took shape. Examining work that ranges from pre-war impressionism through the late modernism of the 1930s, he shows how modernist innovation engages directly with the transitions that mark early twentieth-century capitalism. Mickalites places modernist texts in relationship to particular economic structures: an investment and finance economy that imagines endlessly inflated returns through speculative trading; the anxieties of selfhood produced by capitalist exchange and private property; advertising and fashion culture's dream worlds of perpetual self-renewal; and commercial spectacle's capacity to generate new public affects. Demonstrating that prominent modernists viewed the market as an abstract space organized around irrational fantasies and anxieties, Mickalites argues that modernism reconfigures capitalist mythologies along the fault lines of their internal contradictions in an effort to blast an increasingly reified economic culture into a new historical consciousness of itself.

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