Rewriting Capitalism

Rewriting Capitalism

Literature and the Market in Late Tsarist Russia and the Kingdom of Poland

eBook - 1998
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In this ground-breaking book, Beth Holmgren examines how -- in turn-of-the-century Russia and its subject, the Kingdom of Poland -- capitalism affected the elitist culture of literature, publishing, book markets, and readership. Rewriting Capitalism considers how both "serious" writers and producers of consumer culture coped with the drastic power shirk from "serious" literature to market-driven literature.

In the Slavic field, Holmgren's work is original in both its argumentation and range of sources examined. It analyzes how the classic" literary works privileged in Russian and Polish societies represented and evaluated capitalism and investigates how works directly derived from the market -- bestselling novels and trade publications -- retained and generalized high culture notions of the writer and his or her influence and message. In the face of publishers striving to capitalize on a fast-developing mass-market culture, the rise of the bestseller, and the transformation of "serious" authors into celebrities. "classic" literature nonetheless appraised capitalism on its own terms, popular novelists self-consciously addressed social and aesthetic issues, and trade journals broadened rather than abandoned deeply rooted cultural patterns of the writer's authority, the reader's quest, and literature's invariably profound meaning.

Holmgren also draws parallels with and assesses recent literary, and publishing developments in Russia and Poland, shedding light on the current book market and the literature of Eastern Europe as a whole. These regions have only lately turned to a free-market economy: the astonishing popularity of its middlebrow culture and the publishers' new capitalistapproach have both positive and negative aspects. This lively and carefully reasoned study will appeal to scholars of Russian and East European studies, literary studies, and cultural history.

Publisher: Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, c1998
ISBN: 9780585044026
0585044023
0822940752
0822956799
Characteristics: xviii, 240 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: NetLibrary, Inc

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