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UCL Lunch Hour Lecture: The Great American Novel: how and why?
Dr Kasia Boddy (UCL English Language & Literature)
Date: 1st March 2012
Parodied almost as soon as it was announced, and generally regarded as a topic beneath the remit of serious literary criticism, the Great American Novel enterprise has proved more durable and more various than almost any other in American literary culture. It remains the bench-mark for literary ambition, prestige, and sales. This lecture, marking World Book Day, considers some of the forms the Great American Novel has taken in its 150-year history and ask what social, political, moral, commercial and aesthetic needs it so persistently promises to serve.
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