By Andrew N. Rubin

Combining literary, cultural, and political historical past, and in line with vast archival learn, together with formerly unseen FBI and CIA records, Archives of Authority argues that cultural politics--specifically America's frequently covert patronage of the arts--played a hugely very important position within the move of imperial authority from Britain to the us in the course of a severe interval after international struggle II. Andrew Rubin argues that this move reshaped the postwar literary house and he exhibits how, in this time, new and effective modes of cultural transmission, replication, and travel--such as radio and swiftly and globally circulated journals--completely remodeled the location occupied by way of the postwar author and the function of worldwide literature.

Rubin demonstrates that the approximately on the spot translation of texts via George Orwell, Thomas Mann, W. H. Auden, Richard Wright, Mary McCarthy, and Albert Camus, between others, into interrelated journals that have been backed via companies reminiscent of the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom and circulated worldwide successfully reshaped writers, critics, and intellectuals into simply recognizable, transnational figures. Their paintings shaped a brand new canon of worldwide literature that used to be celebrated within the usa and supposedly represented the simplest of up to date inspiration, whereas much less politically appealing authors have been missed or maybe demonized. This championing and demonizing of writers happened within the identify of anti-Communism--the new, transatlantic "civilizing mission" during which postwar cultural and literary authority emerged.

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Here, the relationship of the series to the ‘consumer’ may be seen as one of a host of strategies by which publishers sought to respond to the pressures of impending and then actual mass culture as well as to its opportunities. The series sought both sales and security. It was a device by which marketing and production could hopefully be integrated. It was competitive, publisher to publisher, but it was also one method by which to try to predict knowable and continuing markets in which to manage capital, labour and materials.

13 The critic William Rowland thought, too, that with Herman Melville ‘the energy of his greatest work had been generated by the need to address a large, undefined, and democratic public, to bring the audience into being along with his work’ (Rowland 1996: 169–70). But the poet Shelley wrote that ‘I shall console myself with what I may call, if I please, the suffrage of the chosen few’ (Shelley 1839: 352). Yet, as the economist Tyler Cowen has pointed out, Beethoven loved composing music, but would probably have enjoyed it less if no one had ever listened to the product.

This was an adaptive process of discovery in a real economy – the market experimentation, testing and feedback of taste, production and sales. Series thus always seek to reinforce responses by repetition, design and advertisement. They remain a strategy by which to discover a sufficient audience at an adequate margin, and one solution to getting price, format, content, marketing and distribution right. Readers respond with and by their experiences of a book as itself, and to a series with other volumes offered as ‘companions’.

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