By Jim Neilson

ISBN-10: 1578060885

ISBN-13: 9781578060887

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Extra info for Warring fictions: American literary culture and the Vietnam War narrative

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Page 8 While it may be misleading to speak of the entirety of the publishing and reception of literature as a single "culture," since there are considerable differences among the commercial and academic sites of this culture, in the case of Vietnam War literature the texts most praised by commercial reviewers have also been the most written about by academic critics. Likewise, both reviewers and critics have emphasized textual strategies over historical and ideological content and have understood this literature almost exclusively through a liberal ideology that has found in American military policy in Vietnam error rather than intent, tragedy rather than calculation.

6 percent for hardcovers and 94 percent for paperbacks. That doesn't leave much room for the rest of the hundreds or thousands, counting smaller independent houses of publishing players" (Maryles, "Bestsellers," 580). In 1995 ownership narrowed even further, with the top seven conglomerates accounting for 87 percent of hardcover slots on the bestseller list (Maryles, "Winning," 32). The dominance of large firms, along with the decrease in independent publishing houses and booksellers, means less diversity of opinion and a marginalization of views that dissent too loudly or depart too radically from the status quo.

It is my contention, however, that these differences are minor and that much of what passes for radical literary scholarship is in effect a more complex, slightly more progressive version of traditional, humanist aestheticizing. If literary studies appears radical, it is because the general culture has become more conservative. In a culture where genuinely radical voices have been virtually eliminated from public discourse and centrist-liberals define the Left, left-liberals like Cornel West or Michael Bérubé seem by comparison fire-breathing Marxists.

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Warring fictions: American literary culture and the Vietnam War narrative by Jim Neilson


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