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Dead PledgesDebt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture$
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Annie McClanahan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799058

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799058.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Dead Pledges
Author(s):

Dead Pledges

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804799058.003.0001

What is a “dead pledge”? Despite its gothic connotations, it actually names something that is probably quite familiar to many readers: a mortgage contract. The name for a contract on a real estate loan comes from the French mort gage. From this surprising etymology, we might exhume any number of meaningful lessons: about the terrifying nature of debt; the strange ontology of property; the uncanniness of ownership; the implicit threat at the heart of the credit contract. ...

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