The Rise of the Modernist Bookshop: Books and the Commerce of Culture in the Twentieth Century, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Rise of the Modernist Bookshop

Books and the Commerce of Culture in the Twentieth Century, 1st Edition

By Huw Osborne


234 pages

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Hardback: 9781472446992
pub: 2015-07-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315553382
pub: 2016-03-09
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The trade in books has always been and remains an ambiguous commercial activity, associated as it is with literature and the exchange of ideas. This collection is concerned with the cultural and economic roles of independent bookstores, and it considers how eight shops founded during the modernist era provided distinctive spaces of literary production that exceeded and yet never escaped their commercial functions. As the contributors show, these booksellers were essential institutional players in literary networks. When the eight shops examined first opened their doors, their relevance to literary and commercial life was taken for granted. In our current context of box stores, online shopping, and ebooks, we no longer encounter the book as we did as recently as twenty years ago. By contributing to our understanding of bookshops as unique social spaces on the thresholds of commerce and culture, this volume helps to lay the groundwork for comprehending how our relationship to books and literature has been and will be affected by the physical changes to the reading experience taking place in the twenty-first century.


'Informed by impressive archival work, the essays in this collection all demonstrate that the roles played by independent bookstores extend well beyond that of middleman� and are, in fact, those of active producers of literary texts and literary culture. Scholars and students of print culture, modernist literature, book history, and even periodical studies, will find this volume compelling and important.' Mark S. Morrisson, The Pennsylvania State University, USA 'This brilliant collection of essays pioneers research into one of the most neglected, but important, institutions of modernism: the bookshop. The fascinating essays here reveal the full significance of the bookshop as a space for disseminating modernism and show how bookshops, from New York to Paris, were often caught between the demands of commerce and culture. This stimulating book should be read by all those interested in understanding the relationship between modernism and its readership.' Andrew Thacker, Nottingham Trent University, UK

About the Author

Huw Osborne is Associate Professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada.

About the Series

Studies in Publishing History: Manuscript, Print, Digital

Studies in Publishing History: Manuscript, Print, Digital

Exploring the intersection of publishing history, book history, and literary and cultural studies, this series supports innovative work on the cultural significance and creative impact of printing and publishing history, including reception, distribution, and translation or adaptation into other media. Proposals are welcome for interdisciplinary and comparative studies by humanities scholars and librarians working in a variety of fields, including literature; book history, periodicals history, and print culture and the sociology of texts; theater, film, and performance studies; library history; history; gender studies; and cultural studies. Topics might include, among other possibilities, publishing histories of major figures or works, of regions, of genres, or studies of particular publishers or practices (including production, distribution, and reception) that hold special aesthetic, social, or political significance. We especially welcome focused argument-driven work that investigates and historicizes new or hybrid forms of text creation and dissemination, including nonprint materials, informal, specialized or private reception and distribution networks, the translation of TV and movies into print, and multimedia publishing practices.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature