The Corporation as Metaphor
This introductory chapter describes how the book will treat the business corporation as a figure of speech, more specifically as an example of catachresis or an abuse of language, since the business corporation does not actually have a body. As a concept, the corporation can be understood as the kind of abstraction that Karl Marx described in the Grundrisse, a concept that enables thought but that also obscures a complex web of historically-specific social relationships. This introduction argues for the importance of historical criticism as a way of unpacking the unconscious of the modern economic system. And it also argues for the use of literary texts as sites where that unconscious becomes intelligible.
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