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Literate zeal : gender, editing, and the making of a New Yorker ethos

Author: Janet Carey Eldred
Publisher: Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.
Series: Pittsburgh series in composition, literacy, and culture.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In Literate Zeal, Janet Carey Eldred examines the rise of women magazine editors during the mid-twentieth century and reveals their unheralded role in creating a literary aesthetic for the American public. Between the sheets of popular magazines, editors offered belles-lettres to the masses and, in particular, middle-class women. Magazines became a place to find culture, humor, and intellectual affirmation alongside  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Periodicals
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Janet Carey Eldred
ISBN: 9780822944096 082294409X
OCLC Number: 729341830
Description: xv, 227 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: Preface : haute literacy --
Introduction : literacy, gender, and the rhetorical work of editing --
Between the sheets : editing and the making of a New Yorker ethos --
"The precision of knives," or more than just commas --
Mademoiselle, The New Yorker, and other women's magazines --
Conclusion : lady editors, Katharine White, and the embodiment of style --
Afterword : Katharine White's bequest, or ruminations on an archive.
Series Title: Pittsburgh series in composition, literacy, and culture.
Responsibility: Janet Carey Eldred.

Abstract:

In Literate Zeal, Janet Carey Eldred examines the rise of women magazine editors during the mid-twentieth century and reveals their unheralded role in creating a literary aesthetic for the American public. Between the sheets of popular magazines, editors offered belles-lettres to the masses and, in particular, middle-class women. Magazines became a place to find culture, humor, and intellectual affirmation alongside haute couture. Eldred mines a variety of literary archives, notably the correspondence of Katharine Sargeant White of the New Yorker, to provide an insider's view of the publisher-editor-author dynamic. Here, among White's letters, memos, and markups, we see the deliberate shaping of literature to create a New Yorker ethos. Through her discrete phrasing, authors are coaxed by White to correct or wholly revise their work. Stories or poems by famous writers are rejected for being "dizzying" or "too literate." With a surgeon's skill, "disturbing" issues such as sexuality and race are extracted from manuscripts. Eldred chronicles the work of women (and a few men) editors at the major women's magazines of the day. Ladies' Home Journal, Mademoiselle, Vogue, and others enacted an editorial style similar to that of the New Yorker by offering literature, values, and culture to an educated and aspiring middle class. Publishers effectively convinced readers that middlebrow stories (and by association their audience) had much loftier pursuits. And they were right. These publications created and sustained a mass literacy never before seen in American publishing.
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