Retcon: Value and Temporality in Poetics
by Joshua Clover
The epistemological rupture proffered by finance in the seventies, seeming to inaugurate a distinct mode of production, is merely a form of appearance that capital’s struggle takes in crisis, beneath which the capitalist economy remains under the sway of the law of value and its source in socially necessary labor time. While narrative fiction has been taken insistently as the relevant literary mode or genre for understanding the motion and particularly the temporality of finance, poetry finally provides a better heuristic for such an understanding and, more substantially, for grasping the motion and dynamic of value moving behind the seeming of finance’s hegemony.
This essay is from Representations‘ current special issue Financialization and the Culture Industry. The introduction to the issue by C. D. Blanton, Colleen Lye, and Kent Puckett, is available online free of charge.
Joshua Clover’s present work revolves around political economy and forms of revolutionary struggle, including the co-authored “Can Dialectics Break BRICS?” (an assessment of class composition and communist party possibilities in emerging economies, with Aaron Benanav) forthcoming in South Atlantic Quarterly, and the Little Book of Riot, forthcoming from UC Press. He is a professor at the University of California, Davis; in 2015, he will convene a Residential Research Group at the UC Humanities Research Institute, studying “Culture, Industry, Finance.”
Photo: C. Dingler