The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology, and Pain in American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology, and Pain in American Literature (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

By: Tim Armstrong (author)Paperback

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In American history and throughout the Western world, the subjugation perpetuated by slavery has created a unique 'culture of slavery'. That culture exists as a metaphorical, artistic and literary tradition attached to the enslaved - human beings whose lives are 'owed' to another, who are used as instruments by another and who must endure suffering in silence. Tim Armstrong explores the metaphorical legacy of slavery in American culture by investigating debt, technology and pain in African-American literature and a range of other writings and artworks. Armstrong's careful analysis reveals how notions of the slave as a debtor lie hidden in our accounts of the commodified self and how writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rebecca Harding Davis, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison grapple with the pervasive view that slaves are akin to machines.

About Author

Tim Armstrong is Professor of Modern English and American Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He previously taught at University College London, University College Cork and the University of Sheffield. He is author of Modernism, Technology and the Body: A Cultural Study (1998), Haunted Hardy: Poetry, History, Memory (2000) and Modernism: A Cultural History (2005). He is editor of American Bodies (1996) and Thomas Hardy: Selected Poems (1993, 2009), and co-editor of Beyond the Pleasure Dome: Writing and Addiction from the Romantics (1994).


Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Slavery, insurance, and sacrifice: the embodiment of capital; 2. Debt, self-redemption, and foreclosure; 3. Machines inside the machine: slavery and technology; 4. The hands of others: sculpture and pain; 5. The sonic veil; 6. Slavery in the mind: trauma and the weather; Notes; Index.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107607811
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 262
  • ID: 9781107607811
  • weight: 360
  • ISBN10: 1107607817

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