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This analysis of two hundred American and Canadian novels offers a new theory of national literatures, demonstrating that national canon formation occurs in tandem with nation-building. It accounts for cross-national differences and illuminates the historically constructed and symbolic nature of the relationship between literature and the nation-state. High-culture national literatures are selected as different from other novels; popular-culture bestsellers are mass market commodities for the largest, least differentiated audience.Read more
- Offers a new social constructionist theory of how national literatures are created
- Links nation-building and literary canon-formation
- Nearly 200 high and popular culture novels analysed,with appendices of canonical novels, and literary prize-winners and bestellers
Reviews & endorsements
"[Corse] offers an astute, Bourdieu-esque analysis of the markets for literary and popular books and the different mechanisms through which they acquire value." Erin A. Smith, American LiteratureSee more reviews
"...Corse has shifted the grounding of future work in productive and important ways." Lyn Spillman, Contemporary Sociology
"Sarah Corse's comparative study of Canadian and American literature...asks why two industrialized, predominantly English-speaking neighboring nations should espouse such radically different images of their own national characters." Graham Fraser, College Literature
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- Date Published: October 1996
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521579124
- length: 226 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.34kg
- contains: 10 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: cultural fields and literary use
2. Nation-building and the historical timing of a national literature in the United States
3. Nation-building and the historical timing of a national literature in Canada
4. The canonical novels: the politics of cultural nationalism
5. The literary prize-winners: revision and renewal
6. The bestsellers: the economics of publishing and the convergence of popular taste
7. Literary meaning and cultural use
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