Seeing the spectre: an economic theory of the ghost story

Andrew Smith

in The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780719074462
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700006 | DOI:
Seeing the spectre: an economic theory of the ghost story

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This chapter examines a theory of spectrality that relates it to a specific field of economics. It shows that the connections between economics and the ghostly relate to the perception of paper money, at a time when such promissory notes were redeemed for gold. It reveals that paper money was previously considered as spectral money (not ‘real’), and like ghosts had a liminal presence. This chapter also aims to present a new theorisation of the spectral that allows a re-reading of the economic contexts of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: theory of spectrality; economics; paper money; spectral money; promissory notes; liminal presence; economic contexts; spectral

Chapter.  10607 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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