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What is retail therapy? Why is shopping fun? Where does desire end and ideology begin in a world of mass consumption? These are some of the central questions of "Fictions of Commodity Culture", a wide-ranging study of consumerism and its literary representation from the Victorian period through to the postmodern era. Cutting across period boundaries, this lively book draws on recent thinking in critical and cultural theory to offer analysis of works by writers as diverse as Elizabeth Gaskell, William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Joseph Conrad and Don DeLillo. From Gaskell's prefiguring of Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting" to Conrad's foreshadowing of the Sex Pistols story, the book shows the ways in which cultural production in the 19th and early 20th centuries often anticipated the crazy and disorientating consumer world of late capitalism.
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