When literature engages in portraying the contemporary rule of finance and its impact on our lives, it also entails a transformation of the forms through which literature represents our lives. Over the last decades, as debt has become an ever more important motive in contemporary literature, we have thus also seen the contours of a new debt chronotope: a particular organization of narrative time and space that can gauge and expound on the working of debt-driven financial capitalism. This essay’s argument hinges partly on an analysis of the spatiotemporal logic of contemporary financial capitalism and partly on the historical transformation of representations of debt from nineteenth-century realism to European literature of the present.
The Debt Chronotope
frederik tygstrup is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Copenhagen and principal investigator of the research project Finance Fiction: Financialization and Culture in the Early 21st Century, sponsored by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, 2019–21.
Frederik Tygstrup; The Debt Chronotope. differences 1 December 2020; 31 (3): 29–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-8744469
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