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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 Literary Appreciation, American-Style : Channels of Influence in Early Twentieth-Century Australia
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'There has been no comprehensive treatment of American influence on Australian English-teaching in high schools and universities prior to the Second World War. Its retrospective invisibility is a consequence, not of its real absence, but of the colonial publishing arrangements that made it difficult or impossible to import American educational books into Australia during that period.

This paper will explore two of the ways in which, despite these restrictions, American ideas and practices of literary criticism did manage to penetrate Australian English teaching before the Second World War. One of these was by the importing of American authors and texts in British imprints. British publishers like Harraps were particularly active in this area: I estimate that something like 40% of their English education list, 1901-1930, comprised American-authored books, co-published in the US by D.C. Heath, Thomas Crowell, Frederick Stokes, Houghton-Mifflin and others. The activities of the Australasian Publishing Company, established as a distribution agency by Harraps in 1916 in collaboration with Houghton-Mifflin and Constable, were especially relevant in this regard.

Other, more individual channels of influence were important too: Ernest Moll, for example, an Adelaide-born scholar and poet, graduated from Harvard, and spent his whole academic career lecturing at the University of Oregon, where he practised and wrote about literary appreciation (in the formal American sense). He also visited Australia regularly, including a two-year stint at the Sydney Teachers' College in 1939- 40, arranged by the then head of English George Mackaness. My conclusions will be based on an inspection of the large collection of correspondence between Harrap and Houghton-Mifflin at Harvard University, interviews with former employees of Harraps and of the Australasian Publishing Company, and the Ernest Moll Papers in the NLA.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories Robert Dixon (editor), Nicholas Birns (editor), Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2010 Z1754436 2010 anthology criticism 'Reading Across the Pacific is a study of literary and cultural engagement between the United States and Australia from a contemporary interdisciplinary perspective. The book examines the relations of the two countries, shifting the emphasis from the broad cultural patterns that are often compared, to the specific networks, interactions, and crossings that have characterised Australian literature in the United States and American literature in Australia.
    In the twenty-first century, both American and Australian literatures are experiencing new challenges to the very different paradigms of literary history and criticism each inherited from the twentieth century. In response to these challenges, scholars of both literatures are seizing the opportunity to reassess and reconfigure the conceptual geography of national literary spaces as they are reformed by vectors that evade or exceed them, including the transnational, the local and the global.
    The essays in Reading Across the Pacific are divided into five sections: National Literatures and Transnationalism, Poetry and Poetics, Literature and Popular Culture, The Cold War, and Publishing History and Transpacific Print Cultures' (Source: Publisher's website).
    Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2010
    pg. 283-298
Last amended 25 Feb 2011 10:28:34
283-298 Literary Appreciation, American-Style : Channels of Influence in Early Twentieth-Century Australiasmall AustLit logo