A Passion for Consumption: The Gothic Novel in America

Offering a fresh perspective on the gothic novel in America, this study engages the underlying currents that define American culture as one of consumption through the rereading of canonical texts that range from Hawthorne, Poe, James and Faulkner, to contemporary gothic novels of Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates and Anne Rice. By exposing the literary myths of subversion and seduction inherent in these works as disruptive to the flow, circulation and expansion of value, this text positions American literary culture as an extension of commodity economics. Its cogent yet interdisciplinary approach, supported by the work of such theorists as Jacques Lacan and Jean Baudrillard, should make this text useful to anyone interested not only in American literature, but also popular culture and American economic thought.