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Global Faulkner$
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Annette Trefzer and Ann J. Abadie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732115

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732115.001.0001

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date: 15 November 2018

The Fetish of Surplus Value; or, What the Ledgers Say

The Fetish of Surplus Value; or, What the Ledgers Say

(p.43) The Fetish of Surplus Value; or, What the Ledgers Say
Global Faulkner

Melanie R. Benson

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Faulkner’s view of global South economics. It argues that “in the postplantation South” of Go Down, Moses (1942) the ledgers in “The Bear” are no longer “operative mechanisms of a fiscal order, but residues of what their obsolescence signifies: the certainty of hierarchy under slavery, the moral satisfaction of balance, and the allure of profit by engineering surplus value.” The ledger entries have a double function: they point to a specifically Southern legacy of slavery, and are associated with Northern industrial interests and modern commercial practice. This double function offers “the chilling recognition that the plantation’s priorities carry over into the New South’s global economic exchanges, including the principles of exclusion, privilege, and contrivance.”

Keywords:   William Faulkner, global economics, Southern economics, slavery, ledger entries, plantation

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