Shelving books? : Representations of the library in contemporary texts
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Established for over two decades, archive studies have often conflated the archive and the library, leading to the theoretical neglect of the latter. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, however, critical and historical works on the library have been on the increase. At the same time, a body of fictional texts offers a very specific representation of the library in the digital age. The literary libraries discussed here – a sample published post-2000, drawn from seven national literatures and representing various genres – champion the codex and construct the library as an affective, nostalgic material space. Acknowledging the ubiquity of digitization whilst nonetheless eschewing a simplistic material/ digital binary, they rework familiar tropes such as the universal library, the library destroyed, and the library as a symbol or repository of cultural memory. Finally, these are spaces of (gendered) familial psychic dramas, tracing oedipal conflicts, family romances and troubled transgenerational legacies.
Hutton , M-A 2017 , ' Shelving books? Representations of the library in contemporary texts ' Comparative Critical Studies , vol. 14 , no. 1 , pp. 7-27 . https://doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2017.0219
Comparative Critical Studies
Copyright 2017 British Comparative Literature Association. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.3366/ccs.2017.0219
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