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Title: The material Leavis : criticism and the marketplace
Author: Alloway, Ross Geoffrey
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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As well as being the most outspoken opponent of the twentieth-century British literary market, F.R. Leavis was, contradictorily, one of its best-selling literary critics. This thesis traces the development of Leavis’s complex symbolic and material relationship with the literary market. By locating this relationship within its historical conditions of possibility (which include social and institutional factors, among others), this thesis demonstrates how these factors influenced the strategies that Leavis employed in order to ‘make a name for himself’ and the eventual exchange of this reputation for economic profit. Chapter One contextualises the positive assessment of the literary market made by Leavis’s Ph.D. thesis - and the subsequent reversal of this outlook - within the class structured subject of English Studies. Chapter Two situates Leavis’s disavowal of the literary market within the new field of academic literary criticism and focuses on the ways in which Leavis integrated the structures of British publishing into his critical position in order to generate an audience. Chapters Three, Four and Five illustrate how the dissemination, reception, practices, and critical positions of Scrutiny - the primary vehicle by which Leavis’s reputation was secured - were influenced by the field of British literary magazines; in Chapter Three, particular attention is paid to the uses of the Leavisite cultural argument within schools. Chapter Six examines how the publication of Leavis’s Scrutiny essays in formats that encouraged wider consumption aided both the spread of Leavisism within the universities and the transformation of his reputation into financial gain. Chapter Seven considers the appropriation of Leavis’s reputation by biographical, bibliographical, and literary critical approaches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available