1. Lifeblood, Liquidity, and Cash Transfusions: Beyond Metaphor in the Cultural Study of Finance

  1. Janet Carsten
  1. Kath Weston

Published Online: 6 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118656235.ch1

Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows

Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows

How to Cite

Weston, K. (2013) Lifeblood, Liquidity, and Cash Transfusions: Beyond Metaphor in the Cultural Study of Finance, in Blood Will Out: Essays on Liquid Transfers and Flows (ed J. Carsten), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118656235.ch1

Author Information

  1. University of Virginia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 21 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118656280

Online ISBN: 9781118656235

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Keywords:

  • cash flow;
  • finance;
  • lifeblood;
  • liquidity;
  • metaphors

Summary

Lifeblood, liquidity, and flow are just three in a series of linked somatic metaphors used to evoke visions of a thriving economy in contemporary global financial commentary. Although cultural studies of finance have turned to metaphor for inspiration in recent years, blood has received surprisingly little notice in these studies, despite the prominence of blood-related metaphors in current discussions of business practice. This chapter begins by examining contemporary symbolic resonances between blood and finance, and goes on to argue that the imagery associated with blood/money coursing through a ′healthy economy′ is neither new nor strictly metaphorical. This series of linked metaphors – lifeblood, liquidity, bloodbaths, blood pressure, flow, and also circulation, transfusion, purging, and stagnation – yields more than a metaphorical understanding of the operations of finance. Metaphors connected to the physiology of blood have provided the scaffolding for elaborate analogies, synecdoches, and a panoply of other literary devices.