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Modernism, Middlebrow and the Literary Canon

The Modern Library Series, 1917–1955

Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace: 7

Lise Jaillant

224pp: 234x156mm: November 2014
HB 978 1 84893 493 1: £60/$99

eBook: £24 (incl. VAT)

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  • Author/Editor
In the 1920s and 1930s the Modern Library series brought out cheap editions of modernist works. Books by writers including H G Wells, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, were published and marketed alongside detective fiction and other books that we would now class as ‘middlebrow’. Jaillant provides a thorough analysis of the mix of highbrow and popular literature in the Modern Library and argues that the availability and low cost of modernist works helped to expand modernism's influence as a literary movement. She uses previously unknown material from publishers' archives to bring fresh insight into the role of the market on both modernist writers and their readers.
Introduction: ‘Good Taste in Reading’
1 H G Wells, Science and Sex in the Modern Library, 1917–31
2 ‘The Modern Library is Something Magnificent’: Sherwood Anderson and the Canon of American Literature
3 Blurring the Boundaries: Detective Fiction and Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in the Modern Library
4 Woolf in the Modern Library: Bridging the Gap between Professional and Common Readers
5 Canonical in the 1930s: Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop in the Modern Library Series
6 ‘If it’s Like Any Introduction You Ever Read, I’ll Eat the Jacket’: Faulkner’s Sanctuary, the Modern Library and the Literary Canon
Lise Jaillant, School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia
ISBNs: 9781848934931 978-1-84893-493-1 ISBNs: 9781781444641 978-1-78144-464-1 ISBNs: 9781781444559 978-1-78144-455-9

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