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Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  6 ratings  ·  1 review
Literature departments are staffed by, and tend to be focused on turning out, “good” readers—attentive to nuance, aware of history, interested in literary texts as self-contained works. But the vast majority of readers are, to use Merve Emre’s tongue-in-cheek term, “bad” readers. They read fiction and poetry to be moved, distracted, instructed, improved, engaged as citizen
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by University of Chicago Press
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Kristin
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging discussion of "bad reading" in postwar America as a form of international communication. Captivating argument even if the prose is unnecessarily complicated and jargony.
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Merve Emre is an associate professor of English at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Bookforum, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Baffler, n+1, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she is senior humanities editor ...more
“The ultimate offense of writing and reading expatriate novels, she posited, was to valorize literary production as the creation of “a work of art” detached from the historical realities of modernity; a work of art preoccupied with the construction of a deeply solipsistic and apolitical interiority at the very moment when literature and its readers needed to look outward, to strengthen their “atrophying power to communicate” with others.” 0 likes
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