Just Looking: Consumer Culture in Dreiser, Gissing and Zola

Hardback
The spectacular development of early consumer society in Britain, France and the United States had a profound impact on constructions of femininity and masculinity, and commercial and cultural values in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Focusing on novels by Theodore Dreiser, George Gissing and Emile Zola, Just Looking, first published in 1985, addresses itself to a central paradox of the period: the perceived antithesis of the terms commerce and culture which emerged at a time which saw the actual drawing together of commercial and cultural practices. Drawing on structural, psychoanalytic and Marxist-feminist theory, Rachel Bowlby retrieves a relatively neglected literary area for contemporary political and theoretical concerns, re-establishing the naturalist novel as a rich source for feminists, literary theorists and cultural historians.