The Afterlife of Property: Domestic Security and the Victorian Novel

The Afterlife of Property: Domestic Security and the Victorian Novel

by Jeff Nunokawa
     
 

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In The Afterlife of Property, Jeff Nunokawa investigates the conviction passed on by the Victorian novel that a woman's love is the only fortune a man can count on to last. Taking for his example four texts, Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit and Dombey and Son, and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and Silas Marner, Nunokawa studies the

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Overview

In The Afterlife of Property, Jeff Nunokawa investigates the conviction passed on by the Victorian novel that a woman's love is the only fortune a man can count on to last. Taking for his example four texts, Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit and Dombey and Son, and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and Silas Marner, Nunokawa studies the diverse ways that the Victorian novel imagines women as property removed from the uncertainties of the marketplace. Along the way, he notices how the categories of economics, gender, sexuality, race, and fiction define one another in the Victorian novel.

If the novel figures women as safe property, Nunokawa argues, the novel figures safe property as a woman. And if the novel identifies the angel of the house, the desexualized subject of Victorian fantasies of ideal womanhood, as safe property, it identifies various types of fiction, illicit sexualities, and foreign races with the enemy of such property: the commodity form. Nunokawa shows how these convergences of fiction, sexuality, and race with the commodity form are part of a scapegoat scenario, in which the otherwise ubiquitous instabilities of the marketplace can be contained and expunged, clearing the way for secure possession. The Afterlife of Property addresses literary and cultural theory, gender studies, and gay and lesbian studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Victorian Studies - John Kucich
Brilliant. . . . Nunokawa's book . . . will inspire anyone interested in the place of property in Victorian culture.
Nineteenth-Century Literature - Catherine Gallagher
The achievements of this elegant book are clear. . . . [It provides] finely nuanced and strikingly innovative readings of four canonical novels.
Dickens Quarterly - Natalie McKnight
[An] illuminating reading . . . of social and domestic relations in the nineteenth century.
From the Publisher
"Jeff Nunokawa enters the familiar territory of Victorian fiction where capital and romance coexist and illuminates the subject in ways that are aften striking and valuable. . . . A provocative exploration."Victorian Review

"Brilliant. . . . Nunokawa's book . . . will inspire anyone interested in the place of property in Victorian culture."—John Kucich, Victorian Studies

"The achievements of this elegant book are clear. . . . [It provides] finely nuanced and strikingly innovative readings of four canonical novels."—Catherine Gallagher, Nineteenth-Century Literature

"[An] illuminating reading . . . of social and domestic relations in the nineteenth century."—Natalie McKnight, Dickens Quarterly

Victorian Review
Jeff Nunokawa enters the familiar territory of Victorian fiction where capital and romance coexist and illuminates the subject in ways that are aften striking and valuable. . . . A provocative exploration.
Victorian Studies
Brilliant. . . . Nunokawa's book . . . will inspire anyone interested in the place of property in Victorian culture.
— John Kucich
Dickens Quarterly
[An] illuminating reading . . . of social and domestic relations in the nineteenth century.
— Natalie McKnight
Nineteenth-Century Literature
The achievements of this elegant book are clear. . . . [It provides] finely nuanced and strikingly innovative readings of four canonical novels.
— Catherine Gallagher

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400824632
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/10/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
File size:
0 MB

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