Modernism, Middlebrow and the Literary Canon: The Modern Library Series, 1917–1955

1st Edition

Lise Jaillant

Routledge
Published March 10, 2017
Reference - 224 Pages
ISBN 9781138048409 - CAT# Y330254
Series: Literary Texts and the Popular Marketplace

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Summary

In the 1920s and 1930s the Modern Library series brought out cheap editions of modernist works. Books by writers including H G Wells, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, were published and marketed alongside detective fiction and other books that we would now class as ‘middlebrow’. Jaillant provides a thorough analysis of the mix of highbrow and popular literature in the Modern Library and argues that the availability and low cost of modernist works helped to expand modernism's influence as a literary movement. She uses previously unknown material from publishers' archives to bring fresh insight into the role of the market on both modernist writers and their readers. 

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