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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines tensions between authorship and publishing in the era of American literary realism. The publishing industry changed with the emergence of literary agents, the growing financial significance of magazines and syndication, and the increasingly influential role of publishing-house editors. All were signs of a centralizing and marketizing publishing system flexible enough to withstand changes in dominant literary genres, tastes, and fashions. With examples from the careers of well- and lesser-known realists—William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Charles Chesnutt—authorship remained stubbornly immune to professionalization, in part because writing is better considered as a craft than as a profession and in part because the practices creating authorship’s marketization did not require its professionalization.

Keywords: authorship, professionalization, realism, publishing, marketization, magazine, syndication, literary agent

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