Critical Insights: Pulp Fiction of the 1920s and 1930s

Critical Insights Series

The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, or a literary theme.

At a Glance
  • 1 Volume; 300 Pages
  • 10-14 essays offering Current Critical Analysis by Top Literary Scholars
  • Introductory Essay by the Editor
  • Additional Works on Theme
  • Detailed Bio of the Editor
  • General Bibliography
  • General Subject Index
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Editor: Gary Hoppenstand
May 2013 · 1 volume · 368 pages · 6"x9"

Includes Online Database with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-4298-3827-6
# of Pages: 368
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
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e-ISBN: 978-1-4298-3843-6
eBook Single User Price: $105

Outstanding, in-depth scholarship by renowned literary critics; great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.

Explores the "weird" and diverse fiction of popular pulp writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, A. Merritt, as well as pulp magazines such as Weird Tales.

From their origin at the end of the nineteenth century to their decline in the 1950s, "pulp" magazines entertained the masses with lurid stories in such genres as adventure, Western, romance, crime, fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Notable publications, such as Weird Tales, also served as apprenticeships for many new writers, including H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Clark Ashton Smith.

Edited by Gary Hoppenstand, Professor of American Studies at Auburn University at Michigan State University and editor of the Journal of Popular Culture, this volume in the Critical Insights series presents a variety of new essays on the topic of popular pulp fiction and writers of the 1920s and 1930s, focusing on those major contributors to the Weird Tales school, which not only included Lovecraft, Howard, and Smith, but also Seabury Quinn, C.L. Moore, Robert Bloch, August Derleth, and others. For readers who are studying pulp fiction for the first time, four essays survey the critical conversation regarding the subject, explore its cultural and historical contexts, and offer close and comparative readings of key texts. Readers seeking a deeper understanding can then move on to other essays that explore it in depth through a variety of critical approaches. Among the contributors are S.T. Joshi, Jeffrey H. Shanks, Andrew J. Wilson, Garyn Roberts, and Richard Bleiler.

Rounding out the volume are a list of literary works not mentioned in the book that concern the theme as well as a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth.

Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:

About This Volume
Critical Context: Original Introductory Essays
Critical Readings: Original In-Depth Essays
Further Readings
Detailed Bibliography
Detailed Bio of the Editor
General Subject Index