California and the Fictions of Capital
These essays on California's economy, culture, and literature between the 1880s and 1920s show how rural places were made over in the image of capital. The story told here is of the real and imaginary spaces that capital occupied, including its encounters with the realities and representations of race, gender, and class. Beginning with the geography and political economy of agrarian capitalism, Henderson moves on to examine the celebratory, if fretful, ruminations on economy in novels by Frank Norris, Mary Austin, and many other writers drawn to rural California before John Steinbeck redefined the scene in the 1930s.
- Hardback | 304 pages
- 159.5 x 237.7 x 23.9mm | 635.04g
- 31 Dec 1998
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 4 halftones, 9 maps
an excellent book which tries to do something quite imaginative. Understanding how novels written about California at this time not only reflected what was going on in terms of the material capitalist transformation of the rural landscape but, also, how they played into the very discourses about nature, capitalism, gender, and race which were themselves shaping these material transformations is a lofty goal, one which Henderson tackles deftly. * Andrew Herod, Environment and Planning * Henderson reads with an eye as sharp as any I have seen, turning his subjects every which way. He is at his best in a series of chapters in the second part that pair key events in the history of the California landscape with novels on the same subjects. His interweaving of the real estate bonanza that transformed southern California in the 1880s with a number of obscure "boom novels" brings energy tot the subject of western land speculation. * The Journal of American History, September 2000 * It is not at all clear what geography is about any more, since so many works bearing its name can be classified as history or criticism or some combination of both, Yet the vigor and style of "California & the Fictions of Capital" suggests that the field continues to attract talented scholars. * The Journal of American History, September 2000 *
About George L. Henderson
George L. Henderson is Assistant Professor of Geography and Regional Development at the University of Arizona, where he is also a Faculty Affiliate of the Program in Comparative and Cultural Literary Studies.