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Parent categories: popular - fiction - literature
In the late twentieth century genre fiction has become a synonym for popular fiction. [Apr 2006]
Related: bestseller - genre fiction - paraliterature - pulp fiction
By country dime novel (USA) - Groschenroman (DE) - penny dreadful (UK) - romans de gare (FR)
The 19th century was perhaps the most literary of all centuries, because not only were the forms of novel, short story and magazine serial all in existence side-by-side with theatre and opera, but since film, radio and television did not yet exist, the popularity of the written word and its direct enactment were at their height.
The term popular fiction, formerly contrasted with literary fiction, is no longer often used. It appears that genre fiction is essentially a successor term. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre_fiction#Genre_fiction_and_popular_fiction
Mass readership in the Victorian eraFor the first time, pornography was produced in a volume capable of satisfying a mass readership.
Oddly, the industry was founded by a gang of political radicals who used sales of erotica to subsidise their campaigning and pamphleteering: when, in the 1840s, the widely-anticipated British revolution failed to materialise, these booksellers and printers found that their former sideline had become too profitable to relinquish. Lubricious stories such as Lady Pokingham, or, They All Do it (1881), and hardcore daguerreotypes, photographs and magic lantern slides, demonstrate the omnivorous nature of Victorian sexuality.
Don't imagine that this material comprised tame pictures of gartered ladies standing in front of cheese plants; any permutation or peccadillo you can conceive is represented in the work that has survived from the period. And it was produced in huge quantities: in 1874, the Pimlico studio of Henry Hayler, one of the most prominent producers of such material was loaded up with 130,248 obscene photographs and five thousand magic lantern slides - which gives some idea of the extent of its appeal. --Matthew Sweet, Sex, Drugs and Music Hall, 01-08-2001, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/society/pleasure_03.shtml [Jun 2004]
Pulp Fictions of Medieval England: Essays in Popular Romance (2004) - Nicola McDonald
Pulp Fictions of Medieval England: Essays in Popular Romance (2004) - Nicola McDonald [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Pulp fictions of medieval England comprises ten essays on individual popular romances; with a focus on romances that, while enormously popular in the Middle Ages, have been neglected by modern scholarship. Each essay provides valuable introductory material, and there is a sustained argument across the contributions that the romances invite innovative, exacting and theoretically charged analysis. However, the essays do not support a single, homogenous reading of popular romance: the authors work with assumptions and come to conclusions about issues as fundamental as the genre's aesthetic codes, its political and cultural ideologies, and its historical consciousness that are different and sometimes opposed. Nicola McDonald's collection and the romances it investigates, are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives engage. --via Amazon.com
Nicola McDonald's collection and the romances it investigates are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives emerge. It should be valuable reading for specialists of medieval English literature and for theorists of medieval and modern popular culture; yet its inclusion of detailed introductory material makes it equally accessible to students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, taking courses in medieval literature. --via Amazon.co.uk
Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle : Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880-1914 (2000) - Nicholas Daly
Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle : Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880-1914 (2000) - Nicholas Daly [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
"...a first-rate and much-needed model for work on the genre for years to come...While thus offering a highly original reading of modernism, Daly's book is nonetheless at its most impressive when tracing the intricate ideological maneuvers of the only apparently thin-whitted romances of Stoker and his peers...Daly both sets a new standard for work on this genre and requires that those working elsewhere-on domestic fiction, modernism, the history of the middle classes-reconsider it." Victorian Studies
"I nonetheless find The Spectale of Intimacy a stimulating and satisfying book... One of the satisfying qualities of The Spectale of Intimacy is that it preserves a nice balance between the general and the specific enough but not too much of either- that nicely replicates the very method of their exploration of the relationship between the public and the private in Victorian society." Studies in the Novel
In Modernism, Romance, and the Fin de Siecle Nicholas Daly explores the popular fiction of the 'romance revival' of the late Victorian and Edwardian years, focusing on the work of such authors as Bram Stoker, H. Rider Haggard and Arthur Conan Doyle. Rather than treating these stories as Victorian Gothic, Daly locates them as part of a 'popular modernism'. Drawing on recent work in cultural studies, this book argues that the vampires, mummies and treasure hunts of these adventure narratives provided a form of narrative theory of cultural change, at a time when Britain was trying to accommodate the 'new imperialism', the rise of professionalism, and the expansion of consumerist culture. Daly's wide-ranging study argues that the presence of a genre such as romance within modernism should force a questioning of the usual distinction between high and popular culture.
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