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Fictional business

Literary history teems with the fantastic lives of money men. Why do so many novelists shy away from writing about the world of business?

By Kate Jennings   December 2001

A curious collection of essays was published last year by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a London-based organisation dedicated to broadening ?the public understanding of a free economy.? Titled The Representation of Business in English Literature, the collection contains a foreword by John Blundell lamenting that capitalism has received ?three centuries of bad press? from writers of fiction.

To fix this, Blundell proposes such measures as outreach programmes that send writers to ?a factory or similar capitalist institution? and offering financial incentives for novelists who treat business as ?an honourable, creative, moral and personally satisfying way of life.? He…

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