Fiction and fictitious capital in Julián Martel's La Bolsa

Ericka Beckman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This essay examines Julián Martel's novel La Bolsa (1891) as a contradictory response to Argentina's first widescale financial melt-down, the Baring Crisis of 1890. Through an analysis of this work, I show how novelistic form attempted to explain the causes and consequences of economic crisis. While most critics have accepted this novel's antifinancial stance at face value, this essay argues that La Bolsa endeavors to explain crisis in such a way as to shore up belief in the very market system that had created the disaster in the first place. In this manner, I argue, La Bolsa can be read as a "supplement" to economic ideology. At the same time, the essay points to ways in which economic ideology depends upon narrative structures to explain recurrent market failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-39
Number of pages23
JournalHispanic Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Argentine literature
  • Baring crisis of 1890
  • Economic ideology and narrative form
  • Julian Martel
  • La Bolsa (1891)
  • Literature and financial crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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