Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[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 Literature"...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
Theory of formation of national literatures, based on analysis of 200 American and Canadian novels.
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 Candada; 4. The canonical novels: the politics of cultural nationalism: the literary prize-winners: revision and renewal; 6. The bestsellers: the economics of publishing and the convergence of popular taste; 7. Literarymeaning and cultural use; Appendices.