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Paraliterary – The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America

Merve Emre


Literature departments are staffed by, and tend to be focused on turning out, “good” readers—attentive to nuance, aware of history, interested in literary texts as self-contained works. But the vast majority of readers are, to use this book's tongue-in-cheek term, “bad” readers. They read fiction and poetry to be moved, distracted, instructed, improved, engaged as citizens. How should we think about those readers, and what should we make of the structures, well outside the academy, that generate them? We should, the book argues, think of such readers not as non-literary but as paraliterary—thr ... More

Keywords: paraliterary, postwar literature, cultural diplomacy, institutional sociology, sociology of reading

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226473833
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226474021.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Merve Emre, author
McGill University