心得分享 – Corporate Romanticism: Liberalism, Justice, and the Novel

書名:Corporate Romanticism: Liberalism, Justice, and the Novel,語言:英文,ISBN:9780823272235,作者:Stout, Daniel M.,出版日期:2016/12/01,類別:文學


"…innocence you don’t have to earn, virtue that you cannot deserve, guilt that never ends, action that never stops, character without innerness, many persons speaking through a single human, a single creature who is also a species, a man who is not himself because he is his double, a man who is neither himself nor his double. These confusions of personhood and action are not exceptions to the law of liberal individualism; they are the confusions that are its only history."

Corporate Romanticism offers an alternative history of the connections between modernity, individualism, and the novel. In early nineteenth-century England, two developments–the rise of corporate persons and the expanded scale of industrial action–undermined the basic assumption underpinning both liberalism and the law: that individual human persons can be meaningfully correlated with specific actions and particular effects. Reading a set of important Romantic novels–Caleb Williams, Mansfield Park, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of Justified Sinner, Frankenstein, and A Tale of TwoCities–alongside a wide-ranging set of debates in nineteenth-century law and Romantic politics and aesthetics, Daniel Stout argues that the novel, a literary form long understood as a reflection of individualism’s ideological ascent, in fact registered the fragile fictionality of accountable individuals in a period defined by corporate actors and expansively entangled fields of action. Examining how liberalism, the law, and the novel all wrestled with the moral implications of a highly collectivized and densely packed modernity, Corporate Romanticism reconfigures our sense of the nineteenth century and its novels, arguing that we see in them not simply the apotheosis of laissez-fair individualism but the first chapter of a crucial and distinctly modern problem about how to fit the individualist and humanist terms of justice onto a world in which the most consequential agents are no longer persons.


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Corporate Romanticism: Liberalism, Justice, and the Novel