Modern American Reading Practices: Between Aesthetics and History

Hardcover | December 15, 2008

byPhilip Goldstein

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In this thoughtful study, Phillip Goldstein shows how the valuation of aesthetics in literary criticism has become increasingly complicated in recent decades. Contemporary readers not only need to look at the text's figures and structure, or the author's intention but must take various media, including television, movies, magazines, and newspapers; as well as the sexuality, gender, race, or nationality of the author, media, or text into account. In this context, Goldstein argues that the study of modern reading practices most effectively preserves the autonomy of aesthetics while revealing the changing social and historical contexts of American readers. Using pluralist perspectives on novels such as Frankenstein, Huckleberry Finn, Native Son, Light in August, and Jazz, this study suggests that these new historical conditions have markedly expanded and transformed the ways in which Americans have defined and read literature in the last two hundred years.

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In this thoughtful study, Phillip Goldstein shows how the valuation of aesthetics in literary criticism has become increasingly complicated in recent decades. Contemporary readers not only need to look at the text's figures and structure, or the author's intention but must take various media, including television, movies, magazines, an...

Philip Goldstein is Professor of English at the University of Delaware. He is the author of PostMarxism: An Introduction and the editor, with James Machor, of Reception Study: Theory, Practice, History and New Directions in Reception Study.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:December 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230612253

ISBN - 13:9780230612259

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“At once lucid and intelligent, Modern American Reading Practices probes the relations between reading and textuality through a series of richly argued case studies. Once again, Goldstein pushes the boundaries of reception theory into new territory.”--Tony Bennett, Professor of Sociology, The Open University