Literature and economics — Capital fictions

This is a very suggestive book about what we can learn from novels about economics. Latin america, not peripheral, is a key part of the cycle of raw materials. This could be a good supplementary text in how economics actually effect emerging market economies.

On Columbia. From Capital Fictions

Liberal elites viewed their own labor and creativity as men of letters (letrados) as necessary to getting this process underway; to this end, the mode of discourse I call export reverie became a key vehicle for expressing the hopes and dreams of export- led modernization. While not formalized as a genre, the ebullient and optimistic tones of export reverie reverberated across the continent in newspaper essays, commercial manuals, exposition catalogues, inaugural speeches, and advertisements. As a discourse, export reverie is recognizable through a double gesture: first, the identification of the untapped agricultural or mineral resources, followed by an ecstatic prediction of the wealth and happiness that export commodity wealth would bring. For liberal visionaries, this transformation had been a long time coming. For decades after Independence in the early nineteenth century, new republics had been racked by political discord and civil war, tendencies blamed for stifling the development of commerce. But after decades of stops and starts, the 1870s allowed creole elites to catch a glimpse of a world uniting under the sign of commerce. Newspapers — one of the key supports of this global vision — printed allegories of the “banquet of nations,” along with engravings of railways, worker bees, and chimneyed factories, all wish- images of the mobility and productivity promised by the free market. Financial instruments such as banknotes and bond certificates showed idyllic scenes of transatlantic commerce, signified by images of locomotives standing next to bags of coffee, signifying a harmonious circuit of exchange (Raventos 1984, 22; Clark 1971, 43). With images such as these, the market and its instruments became
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