California and the Fictions of Capital

Overview

These essays on California's economy, culture, and literature between the 1880s and 1920s show how rural places were made over in the image of capital The story told here is of the real and imaginary spaces that capital occupied, including its encounters with the realities and representations of race, gender, and class. Beginning with the geography and political economy of agrarian capitalism, Henderson moves on to examine the celebratory, if fretful ruminations on economy in novels by Frank Norris, Mary Austin, ...
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California and the Fictions of Capital

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Overview

These essays on California's economy, culture, and literature between the 1880s and 1920s show how rural places were made over in the image of capital The story told here is of the real and imaginary spaces that capital occupied, including its encounters with the realities and representations of race, gender, and class. Beginning with the geography and political economy of agrarian capitalism, Henderson moves on to examine the celebratory, if fretful ruminations on economy in novels by Frank Norris, Mary Austin, and many other writers drawn to rural California before John Steinbeck redefined the scene in the 1930s.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Henderson's book is an intellectual foray into the relationships among capital investment, the productive use of agricultural land, and how these issues have fired the imagination of novelists in California history from 1870 to 1920....Students of the American West and California will find it worthwhile."—Choice
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Product Details

Meet the Author

George L. Henderson is Assistant Professor of Geography and Regional Development at the University of Arizona, where he is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Program in Comparative and Cultural Literary Studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Alchemy of Capital and Nature
Reference Maps
Pt. I Making Geographies
1 Rural Commodity Regimes: A Primer 3
2 Nature and Fictitious Capital: The Circulation of Money Capital 28
3 Toward Rural Realism: Variable Capital, Variable Capitalists, and the Fictions of Capital 81
Pt. II Excavating Geographical Imaginations
Introduction 115
4 Mussel Slough and the Contradictions of Squatter Capitalism 123
5 Realty Redux: Landscapes of Boom and Bust in Southern California 150
6 Romancing the Sand: Earth-Capital and Desire in the Imperial Valley 175
7 Take Me to the River: Water, Metropolitan Growth, and the Countryside 196
Conclusion 215
Notes 219
References 235
Index 251
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