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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 6: The American Novel 1879-1940$
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Priscilla Wald and Michael A. Elliott

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195385342.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 November 2020

Textual Commodities and Authorial Celebrities

Textual Commodities and Authorial Celebrities

(p.3) 1 Textual Commodities and Authorial Celebrities
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Sarah Robbins

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the evolution of textual ownership and authorial performance in the United States through three periods: the 1870s to the close of the nineteenth century, the early 1900s to the end of World War I, and 1918–1940 (also known as the period “between the wars”). It examines celebrity authorship and long-term reputation management within the context of American literary history in the decades between the end of the Civil War and the start of World War II. It also considers developments in the U.S. marketplace that profoundly affected the place of American literature in the larger culture. Furthermore, it looks at how the novel produced celebrity figures during this period, along with the efforts of many writers to implement international copyright and extend the length of time accorded to copyright within the United States. Finally, the chapter discusses the advent of new technologies that promoted a mass readership and nurtured specialized audiences that gave rise to niche versions of celebrity.

Keywords:   textual ownership, authorial performance, celebrity authorship, reputation management, American literature, novel, international copyright, United States, mass readership, specialized audiences

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