vendredi 9 décembre 2011

Nina Baym, NOVELS, READERS, AND REVIEWERS, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1984, 287 pages

The main general discussions of the term romance in this era developed idiosyncratic definitions with no necessary application to the actual practice of fiction writers of the time; the idea of American romance that now controls so much American literary history is equally idiosyncratic and "theoretical." Discussions of the term as though it were historically given, or as though its examples are fixed and known, quickly become argumetns for granting romance status to one or another work. These arguments would be beside the point were it not now generally agreed that the most important works of American fiction are romances. This is a position that would have made no sense in 1850.

p. 235. 

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