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

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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

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