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ParaliteraryThe Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America$
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Merve Emre

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226473833

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226474021.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

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Source:
Paraliterary
Author(s):

Merve Emre

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226474021.003.0001

Each chapter of this book concerns readers and writers—some famous, but many not—who were trained by their new institutional contexts to treat literary texts as repositories of “typical situations, roles, possible trains of events, [and] schemes of action (sensory-motor, schemes of perception, evaluation, appreciation, etc.),” to recall sociologist Bernard Lahire’s extensive catalog of how people read once reading literature is no longer fixed as an aesthetic or autonomous enterprise. This book is about how these strange, but no less systematic or meticulously considered, methods of reading came to shape the constellation of aesthetic and communicative practices within which postwar American literature flourished. At the same time, it is an account of how American literature made its mark on the world in strange and unappreciated ways: not only through the triumphal globalization of literary production, as so many transnational or comparative critics would have it, but through distinctly nationalized practices of literary consumption at home and in the world at large.

Keywords:   paraliterary, bad reading, Cold War, discourse pragmatics, internationalism

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