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Subject Literature » American Literature

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics novel and novella

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631206873.2009.00002.x


When I first agreed to edit this collection of essays on the modern American novel, I thought immediately of the sorts of pieces I wished I'd been able to send my students to through the years. A number of excellent resources for teaching modern literature have appeared recently, almost all of them designed to provide concise but comprehensive coverage of standard literary topics and movements in the period and genre of study. The best do an excellent job of locating and relating individual works and authors, and helping readers understand where given literary elements fit in the broader accounts of major developments. The series of Companions in which this volume appears, however, in allowing a greater number of essays and more flexible organization, invites attention to other pedagogical purposes. Over the past two decades, modernist studies has enjoyed a burgeoning of exciting new historical, theoretical, and cultural scholarship. This innovative work has at least complicated, and sometimes even called into question, almost every accepted assumption of our field. One of the objectives of this Companion is to reflect the directions of such new scholarship: not only do many of the essays propose fresh descriptions of familiar novels of the period, or new descriptions of freshly (re)discovered ones, they also root their reformulations in contemporary theoretical speculation and ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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