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Marketing Modernism Between the Two World Wars (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)


Marketing Modernism Between the Two World Wars (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In February 1934, the Saturday Review of Literature featured a two-page advertisement entitled "How to Enjoy James Joyce's Great Novel Ulysses." This promotion — with its promise that consumers would encounter "one of the most exciting stories offered by modern fiction" — was part of a much broader campaign. For more than a decade, American publishers had sought to expand the market for modernist literature in the United States. Their goal was to convince consumers that these "difficult" books could be both a pleasure to read and an affordable way to experiment with new ideas and gain access to intellectual refinement.<P>Focusing on the advertising policies of five publishing houses in the 1920s and 1930s, Catherine Turner examines the process by which "highbrow" works of fiction were packaged, promoted, and sold to a mainstream American readership. The publishing houses range from the small firm of B. W. Huebsch to Alfred A. Knopf, Harcourt Brace and Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, and Random House. These companies introduced American readers to the work of such writers as Sherwood Anderson, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Joyce. Many became bestsellers, despite initial fears that they were too demanding or too dull for ordinary readers.<P>Turner explores the various strategies employed by the publishers to convince a skeptical public to buy new works of serious literature. She also revisits the relationship between "highbrow" and "middlebrow" culture at a time when such labels were being undermined by the rise of a mass consumer marketplace.

Book News Annotation:

Looking at the advertising policies of publishing houses in the 1920s and 1930s, Turner (English, College Misericordia) examines the process by which "highbrow" works of fiction, including the work of writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway, were promoted to a mainstream American readership by five publishers. B&w illustrations from advertising campaigns are included. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-252) and index.

Table of Contents

Rethinking modernism and the consumer culture — The market for modernism in the 1920s and 1930s — Maintaining highbrow standards : B.W. Huebsch opens the door to modern literature — Opening markets to modernism : Alfred Knopf's promotion of Thomas Mann in the 1920s — The "novel of ideas" meets the "overbright glare of publicity" : Alfred Harcourt and the American avant-garde — Changing American literary taste : Scribner's and Ernest Hemingway — How to enjoy James Joyce's great novel Ulysses.

Product Details

Turner, Catherine
University of Massachusetts Press
Modern - 20th Century
Books and reading
Social history
Semiotics & Theory
Literature, Modern
Literature publishing
Modernism (Literature) -- United States.
Books and reading -- United States -- History.
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9.60x6.28x.92 in. 1.32 lbs.

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Business » Communication
Business » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » Publishing

Marketing Modernism Between the Two World Wars (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) New Hardcover
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Product details 280 pages University of Massachusetts Press - English 9781558493766 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-252) and index.
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