The years after World War Two have seen a widespread fascination with the free market. In this book, Michael W. Clune considers this fascination in postwar literature. In the fictional worlds created by works ranging from Frank O'Hara's poetry to nineties gangster rap, the market is transformed, offering an alternative form of life, distinct from both the social visions of the left and the individualist ethos of the right. These ideas also provide an unsettling example of how art takes on social power by offering an escape from society. American Literature and the Free Market presents a new perspective on a number of wide ranging works for readers of American post-war literature.
Acknowledgements; Introduction: the economic fiction; 1. Freedom from you; 2. Frank O'Hara and free choice; 3. William Burroughs' virtual mind; 4. Blood money: sovereignty and exchange in Kathy Acker; 5. 'You Can't See Me': rap, money, and the first person; Conclusion: the invisible world; Bibliography; Notes; Index.