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Necessary LuxuriesBooks, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815$
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Matt Erlin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453045

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453045.001.0001

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Introduction: Guilty Pleasures

Introduction: Guilty Pleasures

(p.1) Introduction: Guilty Pleasures
Necessary Luxuries

Matt Erlin

Cornell University Press

This book examines the field of literary production and the culture of consumption in Germany between 1770 and 1815 in relation to luxury and the fine arts. Drawing on recent work done in German and British studies on both consumer culture in a narrower sense and the interface between literature and political economy more generally, the book analyzes the discursive and material contexts that shape the novel during the period. It offers a new perspective on the broader trajectory of German literature by exploring how deeply preoccupied artists and especially authors are with their status as luxury producers. It also discusses the structural and rhetorical features of literary works by reading the novels of Joachim Heinrich Campe, Christoph Martin Wieland, Karl Philipp Moritz, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Novalis.

Keywords:   literary production, consumption, Germany, luxury, fine arts, consumer culture, political economy, novel, German literature, literary work

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