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What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts

What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts

Chapter:
(p.122) What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts
Source:
Faulkner and Money
Author(s):
Richard Godden
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496822529.003.0009

In declaring Sanctuary (1931) "a cheap idea," "deliberately conceived" to make money, Faulkner announced the novel's preoccupation with circulation ("Maybe 10,000 of them will buy it"). The essay focuses on how, in writing for money, Faulkner wrote through money, doing so when "more and more of the aspects of living are coming to be strained through the bars of a dollar sign" (Middletown, Robert and Helen Lynd [1929]). Following Marx's account of the logic of circulation, whereby the commodity (here, the novel), "thrown into the alchemist's retort of circulation," must "shape-shift," "changing its skin" in order to "transubstantiate" into price, the paper tracks how Faulkner explores the monetization not only of his subject (Temple Drake's rape and exchange) but of his self-conception as author.

Keywords:   Commodity, Circulation, Labor, Marx, authorship

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