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

Marking the 75th Anniversary of Independence from British Rule

August 14 and August 15 mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of independence from British rule for Pakistan and India, respectively. Inextricably linked to the birth of these two South Asian nations is the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent that tragically accompanied the end of British colonialism.