Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Monday, Jan 3, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
by Stephen Burn
The New York Times (31 December 2010)

“Fifty years is a long time in any national literature, but in the extreme environment of American culture, fiction seems to find an incubator for unusually rapid growth. A half-century takes us from the era of formulaic romances and Gothic novels to the metaphysical theater of “Moby-Dick”; from Mark Twain working on his autobiography to John Barth’s first novel. Yet across the 50 years since Alfred Kazin lectured about the function of the critic, academic literary criticism in America has arguably changed more than the modern novel, while the kind of critic that preoccupied Kazin — one who writes for the public, “lives in literature” and tries to create standards — now finds her function revised by technological changes that have reconfigured an audience that was once atomized by America’s urban sprawl.”


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