Cover: Selling the Story: Transaction and Narrative Value in Balzac, Dostoevsky, and Zola, from Harvard University PressCover: Selling the Story in HARDCOVER

Selling the Story

Transaction and Narrative Value in Balzac, Dostoevsky, and Zola

Add to Cart

Product Details


$47.00 • £37.95 • €42.50

ISBN 9780674988439

Publication Date: 08/06/2019


336 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


  • Notes on Citation
  • Introduction: The Economics of Narrative
    • The Role of Economic Criticism
    • The Importance of the Publishing Context
    • Literature as Transaction
    • The Notion of Literary Value
    • Balzac, Dostoevsky, and Zola
  • 1. Balzac: Narrative as Business
    • “Phrase-Mongers” (Marchands de phrases)
    • La Torpille: Experiments in Narrative Value
    • Esther: The Prospectus, Production Model
    • Lucien: Deconstructing the Prospectus
    • Vautrin: Vautrin or Vaut rien—Who Decides?
  • 2. Dostoevsky: Who Buys the Story?
    • Reform, Experiment, and the Novel
    • How to Write a Novel?
    • The Novel as Prospectus
    • The Rejection of Prospectus
    • Auction: The Return of Commercial Value
    • Speculation
  • 3. Zola: The Business of Narrative
    • The Commercialisation of the Book
    • The New Economics of Fiction
    • Zola as Promoter of Story and Book
    • From Promoter to Managing Director
    • La Curée: The Narrative of Business
    • L’Argent: The Business of Narrative
  • Conclusion: Accounts
  • Appendix A: Serialisation of The Brothers Karamazov
  • Appendix B: The Thirty-Eight Retellings of the Murder of Fedor Karamazov
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene