Fiction sets you free: literature, liberty, and western culture
University Of Iowa Press
In what can only be called a genuine intellectual adventure, Russell Berman raises fundamental questions long ignored by literary scholars; Why does literature command our attention at all? Why would society want to cultivate a sphere of activity devoted to the careful study of literary fiction? Written as a tonic to what he calls the debilitating cultural relativism of contemporary literary studies, Fiction Sets You Free advances the innovative argument that literature and capitalism, rather than representing merely commercialization, actually belie a long and positive association: literary autonomy is a central part of modern Western culture, thoroughly intertwined with political democracy and free market capitalism.