Fictions Inc., Fictions Inc., 0813565871, 0-8135-6587-1, 978-0-8135-6587-3, 9780813565873, , , Fictions Inc., 081356588X, 0-8135-6588-X, 978-0-8135-6588-0, 9780813565880, , , Fictions Inc., 0813565898, 0-8135-6589-8, 978-0-8135-6589-7, 9780813565897, , , Fictions Inc., 0813573637, 0-8135-7363-7, 978-0-8135-7363-2, 9780813573632,
Fictions Inc.

The Corporation in Postmodern Fiction, Film, and Popular Culture
Ralph Clare (Author)
262 pages, 6 x 9
Paper, September 2014 $26.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, September 2014 $85.00   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, September 2014 $26.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, September 2014 $26.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
American Studies, Literary Studies


Fictions Inc. explores how depictions of the corporation in American literature, film, and popular culture have changed over time. Beginning with perhaps the most famous depiction of a corporation—Frank Norris’s The Octopus—Ralph Clare traces this figure as it shifts from monster to man, from force to “individual,” and from American industry to multinational “Other.” Clare examines a variety of texts that span the second half of the twentieth century and beyond, including novels by Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, Don DeLillo, Richard Powers, and Joshua Ferris; films such as Network, Ghostbusters, Gung Ho, Office Space, and Michael Clayton; and assorted artifacts of contemporary media such as television’s The Office and the comic strips Life Is Hell and Dilbert

Paying particular attention to the rise of neoliberalism, the emergence of biopolitics, and the legal status of “corporate bodies,” Fictions Inc. shows that representations of corporations have come to serve, whether directly or indirectly, as symbols for larger economic concerns often too vast or complex to comprehend. Whether demonized or lionized, the corporation embodies American anxieties about these current conditions and ongoing fears about the viability of a capitalist system. 


“This well-conceived, well-executed, and theoretically informed study is wonderfully original—it will appeal not only to literature scholars but also, I should think, to all interested in economics, sociology, literary theory, and film." 
—David Cowart, author of Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History and Trailing Clouds

"In the wake of the financial collapse and the Occupy movement, Fictions Inc. anatomizes the corporation’s hostile takeover of American culture and argues for fiction's and film’s ability to resist the current order—and demonstrates criticism’s ability to do the same."
—Samuel Cohen, author of After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s

"Fictions Inc is highly topical and fills the existing void in literary criticism, namely in the depiction of the corporation ... this well-informed study shows that literature and culture are not only engaged in racial and sexual politics, but also in the examination and critique of late capitalism."
—American Studies

Author / Editor Bio

RALPH CLARE is an assistant professor of English at Boise State University.

Table Of Contents


Introduction: From Manchuria to Manchuria Inc.

1          California Dreaming: Twentieth-Century Corporate Fictions at the End of the Frontier

2          “Domo Arigato, Mr. Sakamoto, for the New Non-Union Contract!”: (Multi)National Threats and the Decline of the American Auto Industry in Ron Howard’s Gung Ho

3          Good Times, Bad Times . . . You Know I Had My Share(s): The Corporation in Five Popular Films

4          A Capital Death: Medicine, Technology, and the Care of the Self in Don DeLillo’s White Noise

5          Family Incorporated: William Gaddis’s J R and the Embodiment of Capitalism

6          Your Loss Is Their Gain: The Corporate Body and the Corporeal Body in Richard Powers’s Gain

Conclusion: Corporate Hegemony, Cubed


Works Cited



Orchid House
Phyllis Shand Allfrey, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
Future Perfect
H. Bruce Franklin
George Washington Bridge
Michael Aaron Rockland
Main Street and Empire
Ryan Poll Ph.D