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Resa L. Dudovitz
Related: women read fiction, men read non-fiction - women's fiction - bestseller - literary theory
The Myth of Superwoman : Women's Bestsellers in France and the United States (1990) - Resa L. Dudovitz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Serious consideration of bestselling women's fiction which falls outside the area of formula fiction is still quite minimal despite that fact that women's fiction in all its many forms, in addition to being a multi-million dollar international business, reaches an enormous number of women throughout the western world. --page 1
The Myth of Superwoman : Women's Bestsellers in France and the United States (1990) - Resa L. DudovitzResa L. Dudovitz's 1990 The Myth of Superwoman examens the nature and history of women's bestsellers in France and the United States. The book features an excellent introduction to the concept of bestsellers, detailing the difference between bestseller lists in the United States (New York Times list) and France (Bernard Pivot with Apostrophe (who reminds me of Daniel Auteuil in Caché)).
One of the basic tenets of the book is that women played an important part in the professionalization of fiction of the 19th century.Commonly held belief: "the commercial success of a book is usually its strongest indictment against literary quality" --page 20
Nina Baym: as late as 1977 "the American canon did not include any women-novelists." --page 20
Definitions of the bestseller
- Origins of the bestseller system
A novel which sold well in the eighteenth century - and even the most successful book rarely sold more than a few thousand copies - did so within a fairly closed circle of readers, many of whom as writers also participated in deciding the prevailing criteria of literary excellence. -- page 21.
By the mid-nineteenth century cheaper editions and improved access to reading material through subscriptions and in France, through reading rooms, pushed sales of a popular novel as high as 10,000 copies. Although critics continued to function as the arbiters of taste, the critical elite could no longer claim literature to be their exclusive property. -- page 22.
- Defined by bestseller lists
- Bestseller: number of readership
- Bestseller: A genre?
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