Item Image
Title The self-help compulsion : searching for advice in modern literature / Beth Blum.
Author Blum, Beth, author.
Publication New York : Columbia University Press, [2020]
Copyright date ©2020
Description 1 online resource (xiv, 328 pages) : illustrations
Call # eBOOK
Summary "Blum explores popular reading practices in which people turn to literature in search of practical advice alongside modern writers' rebukes of such instrumental purposes. As literary authors positioned themselves in opposition to people like Samuel Smiles and Dale Carnegie, readers turned to self-help for the promises of mobility, agency, and use that serious literature was reluctant to supply. Blum unearths a series of unlikely cases of the love-hate relationship between serious fiction and commercial advice, from Gustave Flaubert's mockery of early DIY culture to Dear Abby's cutting diagnoses of Nathanael West and from Virginia Woolf's ambivalent polemics against self-improvement to the ways that contemporary global authors such as Mohsin Hamid and Tash Aw explicitly draw on the self-help genre. She traces the self-help industry's tendency to quote, repurpose, and adapt literary wisdom and considers what self-help might have to teach today's university. Offering a new account of self-help's origins, appeal, and cultural and literary import around the world, this book reveals that self-help's most valuable secrets are not about getting rich or winning friends but about how and why people read" -- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents Introduction -- Self help's portable wisdom -- Bouvard and Pécuchet : Flaubert's DIY dystopia -- Negative visualization -- Joyce for life -- Modernism without tears -- Practicality hunger -- Coda : The shadow university of self help
Note Description based on print version record
Subject Fiction -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
Fiction -- Psychological aspects.
Psychology in literature.
Psychology and literature.
Psychological literature.
Books and reading -- Psychological aspects.
Reading interests.
Self-help techniques.
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century.
Books and reading -- Psychological aspects. (OCoLC)fst00836464
Fiction -- Psychological aspects. (OCoLC)fst00923742
Psychological literature. (OCoLC)fst01081369
Psychology and literature. (OCoLC)fst01081551
Psychology in literature. (OCoLC)fst01081559
Reading interests. (OCoLC)fst01090814
Self-help techniques. (OCoLC)fst01111754
Genre Criticism, interpretation, etc. (OCoLC)fst01411635
Electronic books.
Addl. Author OverDrive, Inc., distributor.
Alt Title Searching for advice in modern literature
Related To Print version: Blum, Beth. Self-help compulsion. New York : Columbia University Press, [2020] 9780231194921 (DLC) 2019023320 (OCoLC)1107158183
ISBN 9780231551083 (electronic book)
0231551088 (electronic book)

Location CALL # Status Message
 Electronic Resource  eBOOK    ONLINE  (ONLINE)