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Finance FictionsRealism and Psychosis in a Time of Economic Crisis$
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Arne De Boever

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279166

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279166.001.0001

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Financing the Novel: Ben Lerner’s 10:04

Financing the Novel: Ben Lerner’s 10:04

(p.152) Six Financing the Novel: Ben Lerner’s 10:04
Finance Fictions

Arne De Boever

Fordham University Press

Chapter Six shows how Ben Lerner’s 10:04 is a realist finance novel that takes on the financialization of the novel itself. If Houellebecq in his investigation of finance was mostly focused on art—understandably so, given that the art market obviously exceeds that of literature—Lerner puts the novel at the heart of such a project and delivers a novel that revolves around the promise of the novel: a projected novel, existing on contract, auctioned off for “a strong, six-figure advance” among the New York publishing houses on the basis of a short story that its author published in The New Yorker. The chapter shows that in its focus on the future, Lerner’s novel takes on the topics of capitalism and financialization, asking the difficult questions about the value of a commodity such as the novel and of what the chapter characterizes as a financial instrument such as the novel “on spec.” As a meditation on the future, Lerner’s novel is an investigation into finance and the possibility of a future that would remain outside of the financial logic, or at least operate critically within it.

Keywords:   future, finance, minimalism, Nelson, neoliberalism, Punk, realism, the virtual

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