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Poe, Authorship, and the Literary Marketplace
Reports NRF is supported by Research Projects( Poe, Authorship, and the Literary Marketplace | 2006 Year | 정연재(건국대학교 GLOCAL(글로컬)캠퍼스) ) data is submitted to the NRF Project Results
Researcher who has been awarded a research grant by Humanities and Social Studies Support Program of NRF has to submit an end product within 6 months(* depend on the form of business)
  • Researchers have entered the information directly to the NRF of Korea research support system
Project Number A00974
Year(selected) 2006 Year
the present condition of Project 종료
State of proposition 재단승인
Completion Date 2007년 11월 05일
Year type 결과보고
Year(final report) 2007년
Research Summary
  • Korean
  • 작가활동 초기에 포우는 작가의 역할은 창의적이며 독립적인 것으로 확신하였지만 1830년대에 이르러 전업 작가는 문학시장의 지배를 벗어나 생존할 수 없음을 절감하게 된다. 문학의 가치는 점차 예술적 기준에 의해서가 아니라 자본주의 시장의 경제논리에 의해 결정되어가고 있었던 것이다. 죽기 전까지 포우는 당대 출판 산업의 주요 도시였던 볼티모어, 리치몬드, 필라델피아, 뉴욕 등을 오가며 시인, 소설가, 수필가, 비평가, 평론가, 편집장, 교정가 등의 여러 가지 일을 정력적으로 수행하였다. 포우는 작가로서의 자신의 직업을 아주 "고귀한" 것으로 여겼지만 그의 생애는 고된 편집업무, 빈약한 보수, 물질적 어려움, 그리고 낮은 문학적 평가로 점철되었다. 상업적 이익에만 급급했던 출판업자와 저속한 대중들의 비문학적 취향에 맞추어 글을 써야했던 포우의 예술적 비애는 그의 수많은 서신과 수필, 평론, 단편 소설들에 노골적으로 때로는 암시적으로 토로되어 있다. 지금까지 대부분의 비평가들은 포우를 19세기 미국 출판문화의 상업적 압력으로부터 초연한 낭만주의적 심미주의자로 묘사하였지만, 본 연구자는 당시의 출판관행과 문학시장의 동향을 포함하는 포괄적인 저술환경과 포우 텍스트의 상관관계에 대한 면밀한 고찰을 통하여 보다 균형 잡힌 포우의 실제 이미지를 구축하고자 하였다. 이와 같은 구체적인 조명작업을 위하여 본 연구자는 포우가 잡지사 편집장과 지인들에게 보낸 여러 서신들과 더불어 그가 작품활동 말기에 발표한 단편소설 "Hop-Frog" (1849)과 두 편의 수필 "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House" (1845)와 "Anastatic Printing" (1845)에 나타난 작가적 좌절감, 고뇌, 굴욕감 등을 19세기 문학시장과의 예술적 갈등 측면에서 분석하였다. 미국의 국내 저작권법(national copyright law)은 이미 1790년도에 제정되었지만 국제 저작권법(international copyright legislation)은 1891년이 될 때까지 발효되지 않고 있었다. 미국의 출판업자들은 찰스 디킨즈(Charles Dickens)와 월터 스캇(Walter Scott) 같은 인기 있는 영국작가들의 최신 출간작들을 저작권료를 주지 않고 마음대로 인쇄하여 판매할 수 있었고 이처럼 최고의 영국소설들을 싸구려 미국판본으로 찍어내어 막대한 수익을 올렸던 출판업자들이 굳이 돈을 들여서 자국 내의 작가들 작품을 출판할 이유가 없었다. 이러한 문학시장에서 포우를 비롯한 동시대의 많은 작가들은 창작활동으로 생존하기가 매우 어려웠었으며 든든한 자본이나 문학적 명성을 얻지 못한 대부분 작가들은 잡지시장(magazine market)으로 내몰렸다. 하지만 잡지시장 또한 상황은 매우 열악하였는데 왜냐하면 잡지에 실린 작품이나 평론들은 아무런 제재 없이 무단으로 다른 잡지에 재수록 되었기 때문이다. 잡지사들은 작가의 원고료를 착취하거나 지불하더라도 매우 늦게 줌으로서 작가들을 괴롭혔었다. 이러한 상황에서 직업작가들은 자신의 예술적 기준과 가치를 어려운 재정적 상황가운데에서도 굽히지 않고 계속 추구하든지 아니면 문학시장에서 많이 팔릴 수 있는 대중적 작품을 쓰든지 하나를 선택해야하는 딜레마에 처하게 되었던 것이다. 포우는 그의 문학적 생애 말기에 작가들의 예술적 이상을 모독하고 좌절시키는 19세기 미국의 물질주의적의며 자본주의적 출판문화와 문학시장에 대한 비판과 절망감을 자신의 작품들을 통해서 강렬히 표출하였다. 포우의 텍스트 분석부분에서는 우선 포우가 자신의 경제적 상황과 미국사회의 현실을 언급한 여러 서신들을 조사하였다. 특히, 1839년 Philip Cook에게 자신의 작품 "Ligeia"에 대한 독자의 평가에 대해 쓴 편지, 1840년 자신의 친척 William Poe에게 자신의 고된 잡지사 업무와 형편없는 보수에 대해 언급하며 재정적 지원을 요구하는 편지, 1844년 당대의 저명한 고전문학 교수였던 Charles Anthon에게 출판사 Harper and Brothers가 자신의 작품모음집을 출간해 줄 수 있도록 설득해 달라는 편지 등을 중심으로 분석하였다. 이어서 두 편의 수필 "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House" (1845)와 "Anastatic Printing" (1845)의 자세한 텍스트 분석을 당시의 포우의 경제적 상황과 출판시장의 전반적인 양태를 바탕으로 조명하였다. 마지막으로 포우가 죽기 몇 달 전에 발표한 단편소설 "Hop-Frog" (1849)을 분석함에 있어서 먼저 이 작품이 그동안 정신분석이론과 노예폐지담론에 이르기 까지 어떠한 측면에서 해석되어 왔는지 그 비평적 흐름을 개관한 뒤 포우의 텍스트를 미국의 출판 산업과 문학시장에 대한 신랄한 비판을 담고 있는 문학적 알레고리 측면에서 새롭게 고찰하고자 하였다.
  • English
  • In The Profession of Authorship in America, William Charvat has investigated the American author's progress from early amateurism at the turn of the nineteenth century to a more socially and politically sensitive professionalism in the 1820s. According to Charvat, the aristocratic gentleman author who wrote for a small group of intellectuals gave way to the professional or commercial author who depended for a livelihood on sales of his writings to the impersonal mass audience. During the period from the 1830s to the 1860s, a time span that marked the publication of all major works of American Renaissance, dramatic changes occurred in the production, circulation, promotion, and status of literature. The relatively isolated, regional, class-based American markets gradually converged into a national, secular, middle-class marketplace. Primary factors in the rapid growth of literary writing and publishing were an increase in population, education, and literacy that accompanied advances in economic growth, democratic tendencies, as well as technological innovations in the machinery for printing and paper production. The railroad transportation also contributed to boosting the American book trade, by considerably speeding up marketing and dissemination of the printed material. Prior to 1820, writers often invested in, or even totally financed, their books. They usually hired publishers and paid them a percentage of the profits. But, by the 1830s, there was no place an author could stand outside the literary marketplace. The work of people who had come to be called "men of letters" or "authors by profession" had become a specialized career. People who had once only read became the reading public, and that public was transformed into a market by an increasingly organized and aggressively entrepreneurial industry of publishers and booksellers. Even though authors were liberated from their dependence on patrons, they had to contend with money-oriented publishers and popular tastes. Authors lost most of their earlier control over publication, and the value of literature was increasingly determined by a marketplace economics rather than by aesthetic criteria. Although Poe highly regarded his own profession, his lifelong career was dominated by low pay, editorial drudgery, financial hardship, and lack of literary appreciation. Poe was deeply frustrated by the customary practice of the contemporary publishing culture. As a professional author, he was required to follow the rules dictated by business-minded editors and publishers, who controlled the reading public's opinions and could make forms of literary value both appear and disappear. Until recently, critics have portrayed Poe as a solitary aesthete separated from commercial and professional pressures of the antebellum literary market. With the rise of the New Historicism in the early 1980s, a renewed effort began to place readings of literary texts in a specific social, economic, and historical context. Critics claim that authors produce their work in a very specific historical context, and that artistic work, like any other, is molded by the social and economic relations that are part of the context in which it is made. The focus of the recent Poe Scholarship also tends to move beyond the rigid textual interpretation of his tales and seeks to locate the author within the culture of his time. In this paper, I intent to explore Poe's authorial anxiety, distress, and predicament permeated in his fiction and essays published in his later career, such as "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House", "Anastatic Printing" , and "Hop-Frog", within the context of the antebellum publishing culture and literary marketplace. In so doing, this study will demonstrate that Poe's writings were conditioned not only by the artistic imagination alone, but also by a constant and lively conflicts with the burgeoning mass market.
Research result report
  • Abstract
  • By the time of his death, Edgar Allan Poe had worked as poet, fiction writer, essayist, editor, reviewer, and proofreader. Although he had labored in various part-time and full-time positions in the antebellum publishing industry, no position was permanent or secure. Poe had to support himself entirely by his writing, and struggled constantly against poverty. His professional career was dominated by low pay, editorial drudgery, financial hardship, and lack of literary appreciation. Like other nineteenth-century romantic writers, Poe also had to deal with the problem of writing for the growing mass audience. Poe was caught between the romantic conception of the gentleman author and the dependence for a livelihood on the reading public whose preferences governed the literary market. In this paper, I will challenge the long-standing image of Poe as a romantic aesthete separated from commercial and professional pressures of the antebellum publishing culture, by exploring the close connection between his texts and literary environment which is marked by economic conflicts and the rise of a mass audience. In line with the recent critical trend for studying how market forces shape the profession of authorship, I intend to examine Poe's "Hop-Frog," "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House" and "Anastatic Printing," as representative texts that reflect the authorial frustration, predicament, and hatred against the servitude to the literary institutions of the nineteenth century.
  • Research result and Utilization method
  • Like other contemporary romantic writers, Poe also had to deal with the problem of writing for the rapidly changing mass-market publishing industry. In his editorial review for the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe assessed and condemned the materialistic society that despised and demeaned the idealistic artist: "When shall the artist assume his proper situation in society--in a society of thinking beings How long shall he be enslaved How long shall mind succumb to the grossest materiality " (Essays and Reviews 164). Poe was caught between the romantic conception of the gentleman author and the dependence for a livelihood on the reading public whose preferences governed the literary market. Poe's professional career is characterized by a vacillation between efforts to court the reading public and denunciations of readers as a mob. In his 1839 letter to Philip Cooke, a reader of "Ligeia," Poe wrote that "as for the mob, let them talk on. I should be aggrieved if I thought they comprehended me" (Letters 118). As Leslie Fielder has pointed out, the professional distress of Poe's career was "not that [he] nobly refused to provide what the marketplace demanded, but that [he] tried to do so and failed" (30). Assessing the emerging mass but not homogeneous market for literature, Poe determined to escape both poverty and restraints on his artistic and critical independence by establishing a magazine of his own. But, his projected journal, the Stylus, was never realized because of the instabilities of the publishing industry in his day. In this paper, I have examined the close connection between Poe's various writings and antebellum literary environment which is marked by economic conflicts and the rise of a mass audience. Far from a being a passive background to the act of writing, the American publishing industry threatened to dominate almost every aspect of the literary creation. As Terence Whalen has noted, Poe's texts are "in many ways the rational products of social labor, imagined and executed in the workshop of American capitalism" (9). Poe's "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House," "Anastatic Printing," and "Hop-Frog" can be seen as the representative texts that reflect his artistic frustration, imprisonment, and hatred against the authorial servitude to the literary institutions of the nineteenth century such as reviewers, publishers, magazine editors, and the imperceptive reading public.
  • Index terms
  • Edgar Allan Poe, the Nineteenth-century Ameircan Literature, authorship, literary marketplace, publishing industry, magzine market, New Historicism, "Hop-Frog," "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House," "Anastatic Printing"
  • List of digital content of this reports
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