Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 August 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the relationship between commodity culture and American literary naturalism. It introduces the terms of classical Marxism to indicate the importance of determinist philosophies such as those found in Capital and Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class to numerous early and even more recent readings of naturalism and commodity culture. Excavation of the relationship between naturalism and commodity culture paradoxically frees the naturalist label from the moment of its determination and brings naturalism out of the historical record of the late nineteenth century and into our own time. Marx argued that as long as commodity fetishism obtained, then the mass of men—and women—would lead overdetermined lives of alienation and suffering. Our susceptibility to the allure of commodity culture deepens our vulnerability to the matrix of social forces that we neither understand nor control, the matrix of forces thoroughly documented in naturalism.

Keywords: commodity culture, American literary naturalism, Marxism, Thorstein Veblen

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.