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Chrysal; or, The Adventures of a Guinea (1760)

- March 17, 2016 in it-narrative, money, scandal

One of the first of the immensely popular 18th-century "it-narratives", the tale of coin and the human intrigue to which it finds itself bearing witness.

Chrysal; or, The Adventures of a Guinea (1760)

- March 17, 2016 in it-narrative, money, scandal

One of the first of the immensely popular 18th-century "it-narratives", the tale of coin and the human intrigue to which it finds itself bearing witness.

The Implacability of Things

- October 3, 2012 in Articles, Books, it-narrative, Literature, novels of circulation, things

Jonathan Lamb explores the genre of ‘it-narratives’ – stories told from the point of view of an object, often as it travels in circulation through human hands. Some of the best recent books about things, such as John Plotz’s Portable Property (2008) and Elaine Freedgood’s Ideas in Things (2006), deal with artefacts, commodities and curiosities that find their value and significance by means of circulation, moving from place to place and hand to hand. These journeys of things were the theme of the essays edited by Arjun Appadurai in his landmark collection, The Social Lives of Things (1986). The title glanced at Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism, sharing the assumption made in Capital I that things get a life by moving about and meeting other things; and that if these things have an ambition, it is to act like human beings: that is socially. The sociability of things seems to be co-extensive with the market that generated the system of exchange value; for just as the merchant’s interest is focused on the most desirable commodities — those that move the fastest and never lie upon his hands — so the commodities themselves desire nothing better than to be in perpetual [...]