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    Preferential Consideration: Bartleby, Class, and Genocide in David Foster Wallace's “Consider the Lobster”

    Eve, Martin Paul (2017) Preferential Consideration: Bartleby, Class, and Genocide in David Foster Wallace's “Consider the Lobster”. C21 Literature: Journal of 21st Century Writings , ISSN 2045-5224. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    This article presents the case for reading Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" as a key intertext for David Foster Wallace's 2004 essay, "Consider the Lobster". Focusing upon Wallace's assertion that "it may well be that an ability to form preferences is the decisive criterion for real suffering" the piece reads Wallace's work through the lenses of capital, class, political aesthetics, ecology, and genocide. Ultimately, though, this article argues that Wallace's essay ends with ethical stalemate since Wallace is unwilling to commit to a political stance. It is, as I here argue, as though Wallace's essay would "prefer not to" make an actual decision.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > English and Humanities
    Depositing User: Martin Paul Eve
    Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2017 12:06
    Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 12:06
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/19513

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