‘A Feast That Lasts a Year or Two’

Writing, Reading, and Editing Serials in the ‘Quality Monthlies’

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1. Edition, 2018
284 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-6769-5
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 296
to be released: 21.12.2018

Keywords: Amerikanische Literatur, Gattungsgeschichte, 19. Jahrhundert, Howells, William Dean, 20. Jahrhundert, Zeitschriften, Magazine, Fortsetzungsroman, Magazine Serials, Quality Monthlies, Serial Literatur

‘A Feast That Lasts a Year or Two’ analyzes conceptualizations of the magazine serial as a format bound to the demands of the literary market in juxtaposition to the serial as a medium whose allure lies in its long form, slowly unfolding narrative, and recurring characters. This study focuses on the so-called ‘quality monthlies’ and the distinction mechanisms they employ to set their serial fiction apart from supposedly more formulaic and commercial formats such as the story paper.

Drawing on the concepts of seriality studies and criticism of serials in contemporary magazine editorials, it examines the mechanisms and challenges of serial writing and reading, as well as serial modes in the second half of the nineteenth century. Close readings of William Dean Howells’s ‘Their Wedding Journey, A Modern Instance’ and ‘The World of Chance’ then illustrate the appeals and shortcomings of serial writing and reading strategies.