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by Paula Rabinowitz

  • ISBN: 0691150605
  • Author: Paula Rabinowitz
  • ePub ver: 1984 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1984 kb
  • Rating: 4.2 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 408
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1st Edition edition (October 19, 2014)
  • Formats: rtf mobi lrf doc
  • Category: Fiction
  • Subcategory: History & Criticism
epub American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street download

Paula Rabinowitz has written a fascinating book with much in it to interest anyone curious about aspects of. .Paula Rabinowitz's exquisite and startling new book about the ‘golden age' of .

Paula Rabinowitz has written a fascinating book with much in it to interest anyone curious about aspects of publishing in the 1940s and 1950s. It has a striking cover, ample notes, and some fascinating illustrations. pulp publishing, from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, is rightly confident in the originality of its enterprise. Gorgeously illustrated, American Pulp audaciously sets in motion at least a half-dozen crisscrossing storylines to create a new cartography of pulp performance. -Alan Wald, International Viewpoint.

PagesMediaBooks and n Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main .

PagesMediaBooks and n Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street. English (UK) · Русский · Українська · Suomi · Español. Yesterday I was honored to participate in a symposium at Columbia University about George Hutchinson's new book, FACING THE ABYSS: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE IN THE 1940s with Professors Hutchinson, Ross Posnock and Casey Blake. American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street.

American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to Main Street, democratized literature and ideas, spurred social mobility, and helped readers fashion new identities.

American Pulp How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street.

American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to. -Provided by publisher.

The main point of the book - the subtitle (how paperbacks brought modernism to main street) - is basically proved in a couple of pages and I found the rest of the material idiosyncratic and representing the author's own collecting tastes as opposed to a true examination of the impact of pulp fiction.

In American Pulp (2014), Paula Rabinowitz presents a comprehensive understanding of pulp as societal influence and pulp as it was meant to be consumed .

In American Pulp (2014), Paula Rabinowitz presents a comprehensive understanding of pulp as societal influence and pulp as it was meant to be consumed: trash.

Paula Rabinowitz is professor of English at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Black & White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism. Country of Publication. Literature, Poetry & Criticism.

Rabinowitz asks in her lively book American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street (Princeton). Rabinowitz’s thesis is that mass-market paperbacks were revolutionary in another way as well.

Whether it also transformed the country is the tantalizing question that Paula Rabinowitz asks in her lively book American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street (Princeton). She builds on a lot of recent scholarship on the way that twentieth-century literature has been shaped by the businesses that make and sell books-work by pioneers in the field, like Janice Radway and Lawrence Rainey, and, more recently, scholars like Evan Brier, Gregory Barnhisel, and Loren Glass.

American Pulp" tells how these books ingeniously repackaged highbrow fiction and nonfiction for a mass audience, drawing in readers of every kind with promises of entertainment, enlightenment, and titillation.

American Pulp" tells how these books ingeniously repackaged highbrow fiction and nonfiction for a mass audience, drawing in readers of every kind with promises of entertainment, enlightenment, and titillation

"There is real hope for a culture that makes it as easy to buy a book as it does a pack of cigarettes."―a civic leader quoted in a New American Library ad (1951)

American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to Main Street, democratized literature and ideas, spurred social mobility, and helped readers fashion new identities. Drawing on extensive original research, Paula Rabinowitz unearths the far-reaching political, social, and aesthetic impact of the pulps between the late 1930s and early 1960s.

Published in vast numbers of titles, available everywhere, and sometimes selling in the millions, pulps were throwaway objects accessible to anyone with a quarter. Conventionally associated with romance, crime, and science fiction, the pulps in fact came in every genre and subject. American Pulp tells how these books ingeniously repackaged highbrow fiction and nonfiction for a mass audience, drawing in readers of every kind with promises of entertainment, enlightenment, and titillation. Focusing on important episodes in pulp history, Rabinowitz looks at the wide-ranging effects of free paperbacks distributed to World War II servicemen and women; how pulps prompted important censorship and First Amendment cases; how some gay women read pulp lesbian novels as how-to-dress manuals; the unlikely appearance in pulp science fiction of early representations of the Holocaust; how writers and artists appropriated pulp as a literary and visual style; and much more. Examining their often-lurid packaging as well as their content, American Pulp is richly illustrated with reproductions of dozens of pulp paperback covers, many in color.

A fascinating cultural history, American Pulp will change the way we look at these ephemeral yet enduringly intriguing books.

Comments (4)

Framokay
This book turned me on to some gems such as Vera Caspary's "Laura" that I was previously unfamiliar with. The book does not have much to say about pulp magazines if that is one's primary interest; it deals mainly with pulp literature in paperback book form. Well-written and informative.
Kriau
EXCELLENT WORK! I grew up with 35 cent Penquin Paperbacks, Del Rey Sci Fi, and 50 cent ANALOG available at grocery and drug stores in small towns. And, my small town library was able in the 1950's and 1960's to stretch its small budget immensely by buying paperback versions of major novels and reference books! Well written, informative, and a focused point of view! I recommend PULP! Wc
Forcestalker
Fascinating topic but the writer's ego obscures clarity and analytical impact. Two Bit Culture by Kenneth Davis provides clearer context and focused insights.
Gamba
Ah, the lowly paperback. It has had a powerful impact on American culture. Author Paul Rabinowitz delineates the role it has played since first appearing for sale on American newsstands, drugstores, and coffee shops in the 1930’s. Her book, American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street, examines the often overlooked influence that the cheap, pocket-sized books had on every phase of American culture.

The word pulp usually often connotes prurient, escapist literature featuring unsavory characters who live outside the moral norms ostensibly espoused by the rest of society. Rabinowitz broadens the definition, however. For her, pulp defines the character of the medium; shoddily bound coarse paper volumes that degrade quickly.

According to Rabinowitz, pulp has influenced every facet of American culture from civil rights to the feminist revolution. It set the stage for the sexual revolution of the mid-twentieth century. The paperback, more than any other medium, carried Modernist thinking, or Modernism, into cities and villages across the country. As the author writes:

"This is a story of paper, or rather of paperback books, produced in massive numbers between the late 1930s and the early 1950s These throwaway items hold within their covers a rich history of literary tastes; the point to, even reflect, a democratizing literacy and the new forms of identity and community that emerged in mid-twentieth-century America.
Curiously, the above passage is very good example of the author’s rambling, verbose writing style. If, for example, the story is about paperbacks, it follows that it would also be about paper. If the period of time for the study is from 1930 to 1950, readers know it is the mid-twentieth-century. Either “point to” or “reflect” adequately carries the thought, unless the reader is being asked to resolve the author's ambivalence."

Rabinowitz writing reflects her passion for her subject. Some passages are truly eloquent and succinct. The highly quotable lines flutter around like canaries lost in a murder of raucous crows. What eventually wears the reader down is a tedium of overwriting. Rabinowitz slings a sentence like a hammock over seven or eight lines of text and then loads it up with subordinate clauses and phrases, modifiers galore, parenthetical observations, personal asides, multiple verbs and allusions to other authors, artists, historians and philosophers. She invariably prefers the less well-known modifiers. The phrase “The demotics of reading” appears no less the 4 times within the first 80 pages of text. (Demotics, the plural form, was not recognized by Word or WordPress Spell check.) Demotic means ordinary, common or popular. Using the plural, Rabinowitz morphs the term from an adverb into a noun--commonness or popularity. Readers are usually accepting of a coinage when they are clever and easy to recognize. Not so in this case. This is writing to impress rather than inform.

Anomie, evanescent, quotidian, and totemic, as words, are impressive, but seldom heard in everyday conversation, even among academics and rarely found in paperbacks intended for the general population.
Rabinowitz writes around her subjects. Her definition of Modernism is there, of course, but sprinkled here and dribbled there when a straightforward presentation of the meaning in the context the author intends would be greatly appreciated.

Modernism, in its most pervasive form, represents a breaking away from the moral, aesthetic, social, political and theological values that prevailed through most of the 19th century and into the first few decades of the 20th. Modernism emphasizes individual autonomy over conformity to established ethical and aesthetic codes. The paperback was an effective stealth medium for tearing down old standards because it was cheap, portable, and widely available.
The author strives to make the simple point that slavery is a grave sin of America’s past. Racial discrimination continues today. The paperback put a tool in the hands of writers eager to address this evil as an unrecognized crime that goes on year after year in our communities. Paperbacks, the conveyor of sleazy sex and brutal crime stories, become the medium through which the crime of discrimination is exposed. Thus, a medium that is usually about crime becomes a tool against the ignored crime of racism. That’s what? Ironic? Making this point in writing about African-American author Richard Wright, the author explains:

"Crime, as a narrative device, enabled, as had for two of his inspirations, Theodore Dreiser and Fyodor Dostoevsky, his exploration of psychological and economic forces, showing how the two collide in an individual. But it did more for Wright – or rather he did more with it – and this is the subject of this chapter: how Richard Wright’s and Edwin Rosskam’s phototextual book, 12 Million Black Voices, supplements the crime narrative, or better, inverts it, to make clear that the crime, that which the American people (or at least white Americans) have been lied to and been lying to themselves about, was the crime of slavery and its attendant Jim Crow laws and culture of racism. This is the true crime story that Wright was exploding/exposing—America’s crypt encrypted, thoroughly evident yet utterly unrecognized, its corpse not dead by haunting us still."

Rabinowitz strains to make a several points in the above passage but simply overlooks the obvious. Wright and others used the paperback because it was there, an efficient propaganda tool, cheap, and widely distributed. The point is so self--evident. The author is over intellectualizing. The passage is representative of the style in which the book is written. It speaks for itself. Rabinowitz's propensity for leaving the choice of verbs up to the reader and telescoping qualifying phrase within qualifying phrase creates a dithering maze that obscures rather than clarifies her thoughts.
This is all such a shame. Despite the author’s lack of precision, the book has many redeeming features as it includes numerous reproductions of book covers, some in color. The notes about the artists responsible for the cover designs are intriguing. Readers will be surprised by the names of some of the artist contributors. The author’s comments about collecting and collectors are some of the best reading in the book. This is a beautifully produced volume on an engaging subject that cries out for an editor’s hand.

This article, somewhat condensed, first appeared in bookpleasures.com

John J. Hohn, author of "Breached" and "Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds"

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