Laura KolbMar 14, 2023
Fictions of Credit in the Age of Shakespeare
Oxford University Press 2021
In Fictions of Credit in the Age of Shakespeare (Oxford University Press, 2021), Laura Kolb examines how Shakespeare and his contemporaries represented credit-driven artifice and interpretation on the early modern stage. It also analyses a range of practical texts—including commercial arithmetics, letter-writing manuals, legal formularies, and tables of interest—which offered strategies for generating credit and managing debt. Looking at plays and practical texts together, Fictions of Credit argues that both types of writing constitute “equipment for living”: practical texts by offering concrete strategies for navigating England's culture of credit, and plays by exploring the limits of credit's dangers and possibilities. In their representations of a world re-written by debt relations, dramatic texts in particular articulate a phenomenology of economic life, telling us what it feels like to live in credit culture: to live, that is, inside a fiction.
Laura Kolb is an Assistant Professor of English at Baruch College, the City University of New York.
Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com.