Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-6pjjk Total loading time: 0.473 Render date: 2023-01-29T23:40:03.674Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Part III - The Market Knows

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2019

Paul Crosthwaite
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Get access

Summary

This chapter argues that the big, brainy, intricately structured American novel that goes by the name of the “encyclopedic” or “systems” novel is shaped by an ambivalent relation to the correspondingly capacious, complex, and informationally rich sphere of the financial markets. It begins by tracing the idea of the all-knowing market from Adam Smith to the “efficient market hypothesis” that continues to dominate the discipline of financial economics today, and shows how this intellectual history has intersected with the history of the novel. The chapter challenges the critical consensus that reads the contemporary "big novel" as defined by the determinism of conspiracy plotting, and argues that it is more closely aligned with the contingent – yet collectively synchronized – dynamics of the classically “efficient” market. The latter portion of the chapter shows how major encyclopedic or systems texts – by Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, Richard Powers, Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace, and Garth Risk Hallberg – position the omniscient financial market as performing both a redemptive mapping and an oppressive (and aggressively masculine) surveilling of the social totality.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×