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On DemandWriting for the Market in Early Modern England$
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David Baker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804738569

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804738569.001.0001

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Thomas Nashe, ‘Pierce Penilesse,’ and the Demon of Consumption

Thomas Nashe, ‘Pierce Penilesse,’ and the Demon of Consumption

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter Two Thomas Nashe, ‘Pierce Penilesse,’ and the Demon of Consumption
Source:
On Demand
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804738569.003.0002

This chapter examines the paradoxes of demand in Thomas Nashe's Pierce Penilesse (1592). It argues that Nashe's signal achievement was to take the tropes of anti-consumption thought and to commodify them, to turn them into marketable prose which elicited and matched his readers' own complicated desires and hostilities. It is this tension between the consumerist desires it so deftly satisfies and the anticonsumerist ideology it so insistently declares that makes Nashe's prose both so problematical and so marketable. The passages in Pierce Penilesse may be viewed as “consumption junctions,” places where author and readers meet to negotiate a vexed array of economic questions, including, inevitably, the propriety of consumption itself.

Keywords:   demand, anti-consumption, consumption junctions

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