Money Matters: Economics and the German Cultural Imagination, 1770-1850 by Richard T. GrayMoney Matters: Economics and the German Cultural Imagination, 1770-1850 by Richard T. Gray

Money Matters: Economics and the German Cultural Imagination, 1770-1850

byRichard T. Gray

Paperback | October 10, 2008

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In Money Matters, Richard Gray investigates the discourses of aesthetics and philosophy alongside economic thought, arguing that their domains are not mutually exclusive. The transition in Germany from an agrarian or proto-industrial economy to a capitalist industrial economy, which was paralleled by a shift from the exchange of money in coin to the use of paper currencies, occurred simultaneously with an efflorescence of German-language literature and philosophy. Based on close readings of canonical literary and philosophical texts, Gray explores how this confluence led to a rich cross-fertilization between economic and literary thought in Germany during this period.

Money Matters documents the surprising degree to which literature and philosophy participated in the creation of modern economic paradigms, as well as the extent to which economics influenced literature and philosophy. The cultural artifacts of the period demonstrate the existence of an ?economic unconsciousness?: persistent notions of value and exchange that inflect the aesthetic and thematic dimensions of literary and philosophical texts. This book offers a thought-provoking and original analysis of literature and ideas in the critical transition period from Kant and Goethe, through the German Romantics, to Marx.

Richard T. Gray is Byron W. and Alice L. Lockwood Professor in the Humanities at the University of Washington. He is the author of About Face: German Physiognomic Thought from Lavater to Auschwitz.
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Title:Money Matters: Economics and the German Cultural Imagination, 1770-1850Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 9 × 6.08 × 1.2 inPublished:October 10, 2008Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295988371

ISBN - 13:9780295988375

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part One: Economics and Intellectual Culture

Chapter 1 / Buying into Signs: Money and Semiosis in Eighteenth-Century German Language Theory

Chapter 2 / Hypersign, Hypermoney, Hypermarket: Adam Muller's Theory of Money and Romantic Semiotics

Chapter 3 / Economic Romanticism: Monetary Nationalism in Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Adam Muller

Chapter 4 / Economics and the Imagination: Cultural Values and the Debate over Physiocracy in Germany, 1770-1789

Part Two: Literary Economies

Chapter 5 / Counting on God: Economic Providentialism in Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling's Lebensgeschichte

Chapter 6 / Deep Pockets: The Economics and Poetics of Excess in Adelbert von Chamisso's Peter Shlemihl

Chapter 7 / Red Herrings and Blue Smocks: Commercialism, Ecological Destruction, and Anti-Semitism in Annette von Droste-Hulshoff's Die Judenbuche

Chapter 8 / The (Mis)Fortune of Commerce: Economic Transformation in Adalbert Stifter's Bergkristall

Conclusion / Limitless Faith in the Limitless: Money, Modernity, and the Economics/Aesthetics of Mediation of Goethe's Faust II

NotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

In Money Matters, Richard Gray investigates the discourses of aesthetics and philosophy alongside economic thought, arguing that their domains are not mutually exclusive. The transition in Germany from an agrarian or proto-industrial economy to a capitalist industrial economy, which was paralleled by a shift from the exchange of money in coin to the use of paper currencies, occurred simultaneously with an efflorescence of German-language literature and philosophy. Based on close readings of canonical literary and philosophical texts, Gray explores how this confluence led to a rich cross-fertilization between economic and literary thought in Germany during this period.Money Matters documents the surprising degree to which literature and philosophy participated in the creation of modern economic paradigms, as well as the extent to which economics influenced literature and philosophy. The cultural artifacts of the period demonstrate the existence of an ?economic unconsciousness?: persistent notions of value and exchange that inflect the aesthetic and thematic dimensions of literary and philosophical texts. This book offers a thought-provoking and original analysis of literature and ideas in the critical transition period from Kant and Goethe, through the German Romantics, to Marx.Money Matters is both a manifesto for what Gray terms the 'New Economic Criticism' and a model of how it should be done. He argues against the notion that culture and economics have nothing to do with one another, insisting instead that German aesthetic theory and artistic practice are deeply implicated in a parallel discourse about the meaning of money at a time of sweeping political, cultural, and economic change. Money Matters is a landmark study that belongs to the very best work in German studies today. - Todd Kontje, author of German Orientalisms