A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics) by Sybille Bedford

By Sybille Bedford

A Legacy is the story of 2 very diversified households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding contributors of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a pal of Goethe between their wonderful ancestors. now not that this proud legacy potential a lot of whatever to them anymore. safe of their large city condominium, they commit themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth. The Feldens are landed aristocracy, prosperous yet now not wealthy, from Germany’s Catholic south. After Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households can be unusually, certainly fatally, entwined.

Set through the run-up to global battle I, a time of weirdly mingled complacency and angst, A Legacy is fascinating, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable photo of a doomed lifestyle.

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A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)

A Legacy is the story of 2 very assorted households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding contributors of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a chum of Goethe between their wonderful ancestors. no longer that this proud legacy capacity a lot of something to them anymore. safe of their large city condo, they commit themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth.

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Extra info for A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)

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One of the most interesting recent analyses is that of economist William Grampp, who describes nine different competing economic interpretations of the invisible hand metaphor, ranging from price equilibrium to Hayekian social order to the morality of competition in general (and then suggests a tenth, which I will discuss below). The kinds of interpretive difficulties that are problematic to economists, of course, are like catnip to literary critics. I think the productive difficulties and ambiguities of the metaphor are themselves significant: in fact, I will argue that the metaphor of the invisible hand marks a logical flaw in Smith’s system, where his goal of imagining an economic sphere separate from specific human societies had to fail, and where he had to paper over the breach with an aesthetic image.

In short, the imputation of agency and control in the invisible hand’s ability to ‘lead’ is severely limited by the fact that the person it leads has no awareness or intention of ‘following’, as well as by the passive grammatical construction of that leadership, which further diminishes its ‘activity’. So what does the invisible hand actually do? 19 At the same time, he cancels out that instrumental image by the fact that: a) the hand does not act directly, but only manifests itself by means of the free choices of economic agents, and b) it does not even influence those choices, because the agents cannot perceive it.

This material ‘cause’ in the realm of production is in fact an ‘effect’: the retrospectively arranged effacement of the aesthetic moment in capitalism. As it functions in Smith’s text, the invisible hand metaphor represents an analogous reversal of cause and effect – or rather it represents the Smithian social order as an effect without a cause. That is, the desired effect – social and economic harmony – is produced by leaving things alone, by the refusal of government or any body representing the public interest to interfere with the economic transactions which will produce that harmony.

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