The Question of the Gift: Essays Across Disciplines / Edition 1

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The Question of the Gift is the first collection of new interdisciplinary essays on the gift. Bringing together scholars from a variety of fields, including anthropology, literary criticism,
economics, philosophy and classics, it provides new paradigms and poses new questions concerning the theory and practice of gift exchange.
In addressing these questions, contributors not only challenge the conventions of their fields, but also combine ideas and methods from both the social sciences and humanities to forge innovative ways of confronting this universal phenomenon.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415282772
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/27/2002
  • Series: Routledge Studies in Anthropology Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Osteen is Professor of English and Director of Film Studies at Loyola College, Baltimore. He is the author of American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo's Dialogue with Culture (2000), and The Economy of Ulysses: Making Both Ends Meet (1995), the editor of the Viking Critical Edition of Don DeLillo's White Noise, and co-editor, with Martha Woodmansee, of The New Economic Criticism (Routledge, 1999).

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
Introduction: questions of the gift 1
Pt. I Redefining reciprocity 43
1 A free gift makes no friends 45
2 Unbalanced reciprocity: asymmetrical gift giving and social hierarchy in rural China 67
3 Unpacking the gift: illiquid goods and empathetic dialogue 85
Pt. II Kinship generosity and gratitude: ethical foundations 103
4 The patriarchal narratives of Genesis and the ethos of gift exchange 105
5 The ethics of generosity and friendship: Aristotle's gift to Nietzsche? 118
6 Adam Smith and the debt of gratitude 132
Pt. III The gift and artistic commerce 147
7 Catullus and the gift of sentiment in republican Rome 149
8 Gabriele D'Annunzio: the art of squandering and the economy of sacrifice 172
9 Conrad's guilt-edged securities: "Karain: a memory" via Simmel and Benjamin 191
10 Formed by homages: H. D., Robert Duncan, and the poetics of the gift 209
Pt. IV Posing new questions 227
11 Gift or commodity 229
12 The ghost of the gift: the unlikelihood of economics 248
13 Give the ghost a chance! A comrade's shadowy addendum 266
14 The pleasures and pains of the gift 280
Index 299
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