Becoming Yourself : The Afterlife of Reception

If there is one thing to be learned from David Foster Wallace, it is that cultural transmission is a tricky game. This was a problem Wallace confronted as a literary professional, a university-based writer during what Ma
If there is one thing to be learned from David Foster Wallace, it is that cultural transmission is a tricky game. This was a problem Wallace confronted as a literary professional, a university-based writer during what Mark McGurl has called the Program Era. But it was also a philosophical issue he grappled with on a deep level as he struggled to combat his own loneliness through writing. This fundamental concern with literature as a social, collaborative enterprise has also gained some popularity among scholars of contemporary American literature, particularly McGurl and James English: both critics explore the rules by which prestige or cultural distinction is awarded to authors (English; McGurl). Their approach requires a certain amount of empirical work, since these claims move beyond the individual experience of the text into forms of collective reading and cultural exchange influenced by social class, geographical location, education, ethnicity, and other factors. Yet McGurl and English's groundbreaking work is limited by the very forms of exclusivity they analyze: the protective bubble of creative writing programs in the academy and the elite economy of prestige surrounding literary prizes, respectively. To really study the problem of cultural transmission, we need to look beyond the symbolic markets of prestige to the real market, the site of mass literary consumption, where authors succeed or fail based on their ability to speak to that most diverse and complicated of readerships: the general public. Unless we study what I call the social lives of books, we make the mistake of keeping literature in the same ascetic laboratory that Wallace tried to break out of with his intense authorial focus on popular culture, mass media, and everyday life.
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Metadaten
Author:Ed Finn
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-469531
URL:https://litlab.stanford.edu/LiteraryLabPamphlet3.pdf
ISSN:2164-1757
Parent Title (English):Stanford Literary Lab: Pamphlets ; 3
Series (Serial Number):Pamphlets of the Stanford Literary Lab (3)
Publisher:Stanford Literary Lab
Place of publication:Stanford
Document Type:Working Paper
Language:English
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2011/09/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Creating Corporation:Stanford Literary Lab
Release Date:2018/07/13
SWD-Keyword:Digital Humanities; Foster-Wallace, David; Literarisches Leben; Literaturrezeption
Pagenumber:27
HeBIS PPN:434681296
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
BDSL-Classification:BDSL-Klassifikation: 03.00.00 Literaturwissenschaft > 03.04.00 Methodik
Licence (German):License Logo Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen

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