The project looks at the economy and the marketization of literature in the long 19th century.
We examine the intersections of literature and economy in their joint embeddedness in two parallel social and political processes: those of nation-building and capitalist transformation. By the former we mean the urge to promote the awareness of idiosyncratic cultural forms, by the latter the tendency of turning all kinds of assets and goods into marketable items of exchange.
The reconceptualization of literature in national terms and the establishment of a literary market mutually informed one another. Accordingly, our basic questions are: How was patriotic activism reconciled with profit-mindedness? How was the national character of literary products seen in view of the capitalism of cultural production and consumption? How could national literature and its historical heritage be taken as the symbolic guardian of national identity, while literature was increasingly commercialized? >>More