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Title: Pouring Eastward: Editing American Regionalism, 1890-1940
Authors: Alvarado, Carolina
Advisors: Mitchell, Lee C
Gleason, William
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: Editorial theory
and linguistics
Publishing history
Twentieth-century literature
Subjects: American literature
American studies
Regional studies
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Pouring Eastward: Editing American Regionalism, 1890-1950 examines the role of the American publishing industry in shaping popular conceptions of region and regional identity. This project interrogates the ways in which the institutional memory of American regional fiction has, to a considerable degree, been determined by the choices of publishers, editors, illustrators, and anthologizers who brought into these works preconceived notions of regional identity. While the subjects of the remaining chapters are bound by their regionalist designations, the first chapter focuses on the critical heritage of Stephen Crane’s Western short stories, revealing the ways in which our readings are limited by a critical agenda that restricts the modes in which an Eastern outsider can participate in the literature of the West. This chapter demonstrates how deeply the work of the biographers, anthologizers, and critics that have determined Crane’s Western canon has depended on biographical readings of Crane’s experience of the West. The next chapter turns to the artist who illustrated Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House for serialization in Collier’s Weekly. The almost unanimous critical disapproval of Frank Street’s work tells the story of a critical investment in the way this novel has been read and archived according to notions of a Midwestern novel’s corresponding concerns. Third, this dissertation examines the guiding principles by which editor Malcolm Cowley crafted a reputation for William Faulkner that he would come to be bound to and defined by, to an extent that would influence the work he would produce in subsequent years. Faulkner’s response to the reputation Cowley so carefully crafted is made evident in the different drafts of Intruder in the Dust, and in the letters that document its composition. A concluding chapter defies early predictions of the genre’s demise through the example of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, identifying in the still waters of the lake of Fingerbone a revision of an overwhelmingly male canon and a challenge to restrictions traditionally placed on regional fiction.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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