Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Temporality of Taste in Eighteenth-Century British Writing$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Noggle

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199642434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642434.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 February 2020

The Hell of Ownership: Beckford on Collecting

The Hell of Ownership: Beckford on Collecting

(p.178) 6 The Hell of Ownership: Beckford on Collecting
The Temporality of Taste in Eighteenth-Century British Writing

James Noggle

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a new view of the theory and practice of collecting by examining writings on the topic by William Beckford, author of Vathek and the pre-eminent collector of fine objects of his day. While collecting has usually been seen as a form of consumption, whereby the collector creates an ideal reflection of himself in the ordered and classified items he has chosen, I examine moments when Beckford portrays collecting as neither consumption nor (as a correlate) occulted production, but as exchange. The now of immediate taste aligns with the now of money and the market. In Vathek and other texts, collected items ceaselessly circulate, never fully embodying value or meaning but rather feverishly acquiring their significance by being bought and sold. Beckford’s writing on collecting affords insight into the fantasies of taste that would structure the drives and dissatisfactions fostered by the capitalist marketplace in the centuries to come.

Keywords:   Taste, William Beckford, collecting, Vathek, exchange

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .