ABSTRACT: This essay situates two late—century object narratives‚The Adventures of a Pin (c. 1796) and The History of a Pin (1798)‚apposite Smith’s opening description of the division of labor from Wealth of Nations (1776). Smith’s manufactory fits neatly into the changing poetics of the pin as literary pins come to be more closely associated with national industry and the processes of manufacture over the course of the century. At first, these two narratives seem out of place in this literary development, yet this essay shows that instead the craftwork has been displaced from the factory and into the readers’ young minds. Considering these stories against the pin’s associations with production, moreover, allows this essay to identify the manufacturing logic at the heart of the generic construction of the it-narrative more generally.
The Eighteenth Century – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Mar 13, 2017
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