by Annie McClanahan
In this essay McClanahan reads twenty-first-century credit scoring against eighteenth- and nineteenth-century forms of credit evaluation. While the latter famously draws its qualitative model of credibility from the novel, and the former predictably describes itself as quantitative and impersonal, in fact the credit score, the social person, and literary character remain significantly entangled. Through a reading of Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, this essay shows what kinds of persons the practice of credit rating produces.
“Bad Credit” is from Representations‘ current special issue Financialization and the Culture Industry. The introduction to the issue by C. D. Blanton, Colleen Lye, and Kent Puckett, is available online free of charge.