reviews

Zachary Fruit, Textual Practice

Michelle Chihara, Los Angeles Review of Books

Joshua Clover, Mediations

Carolyn Lesjak, RaVon

Adela Pinch, Studies in English Literature

“Realizing Capital is not just about the psychic life of financial capital, about how the mad dance of the capital affects human psyche, and about how Victorian literature from Dickens onwards registered the psychic distortions imposed by the mad circulation of capital. The underlying premise is a much more radical one: the psychic life of capital, the way individuals experience and fictionalize financial circulation, is a key ingredient of economic reality itself, since the reality of the financial capital is itself structured like a fiction. Although Kornbluh’s book deals with Victorian England, it holds a mirror to our era – if you want to understand what goes on today, how a madness like the 2008 meltdown was possible, read Realizing Capital!”

-Slavoj Zizek, University of Ljubljana

“This highly original and far-reaching book puts Marx and Freud into an exciting new dialogue with the Victorian novel. Kornbluh reads these imposing thinkers as engaged in the same project as the realist novelists, all of them struggling to defamiliarize the frighteningly fictitious character of capital. Offering thrilling new insights into Great Expectations, Middlemarch, and The Way We Live Now, this book culminates in a tour de force reading of Marx’s Capital as a Bildungsroman and a radical rethinking of Freud’s ‘psychic economy.'”

-Caroline Levine, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“. . . Impressively researched, highly inventive, and powerfully driven by original close readings of nineteenth-century fiction and non-fiction.”

-Zarena Aslami, Michigan State University

“By tracing the cultural circulation of two specific tropes–“fictitious capital–” and “psychic economy”–Kornbluh makes a compelling argument about the complex figurative ties that bind the realist novel to our understanding of both capitalism and the psyche. This exciting and original book will make us reconsider the novel’s cultural work as well as that of its criticism.”

-Mario Ortiz-Robles, University of Wisconsin-Madison