On Mapping Genre: Literary Fiction/Genre Fiction and Globalization Processes

Gupta, Suman (2015). On Mapping Genre: Literary Fiction/Genre Fiction and Globalization Processes. In: Habjan, Jernej and Imlinger, Fabienne eds. Globalizing Literary Genres: Literature, History, Modernity. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature. New York: Routledge, pp. 213–227.

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This chapter argues that the two phrases, 'literary fiction' and 'genre fiction', mark competing territorial claims from two sides of the literary establishment with regard to ordering and disposing (fictional) texts. These territorial claims are better understood with reference to the political economy of the literary establishment, the social dynamics that plays between the two sides in question, than through reading the fictional texts. So, the relationship is not to be unpacked by fixating on textual features and labels, but by taking a historicist approach to the phrases 'literary fiction' and 'genre fiction' themselves: by looking to who takes possession of the authority to announce generic locations, to define 'genre', and when and why.

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