The Undeclared War between Journalism and Fiction Journalists as Genre Benders in Literary History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-09-26
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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When Tom Wolfe declared that 'new' journalism had surpassed the novel as the most vital form of literature, he set off a rivalry that Norman Mailer, the novelist and 'new' journalist, labeled an 'undeclared war' between journalism and fiction. Many of the important twentieth century journalist-literary figures in the United States and the United Kingdom rejected so-called non-fictional methods as their favored way to convey social truths.  Despite their own careers in jorunalism, they came to believe that the writing formulas that grew out of industrialized journalism could be an impediment to expressing an authentic view of the world. In this volume, Doug Underwood asks whether much of what is now called literary journalism is, in fact, 'literary,' and whether it should rank with the great novels by such journalists-turned-novelists such as Mark Twain, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway, who believed - as Mailer did - that fiction provided a more expansive way for the realistic writer to express the important 'truths' of life.

Author Biography

Doug Underwood is Professor of Communication at the University of Washington, USA. He teaches in the areas of journalism and literature, media and religion, and media ethics and management. He is the author of four books, including Chronicling Trauma: Journalists and Writers on Violence and Loss (2011), Journalism and the Novel: Truth and Fiction, 1700-2000 (2008), When MBAs Rule the Newsroom: How the Marketers and Managers Are Reshaping Today's Media (1993), and From Yahweh to Yahoo!: The Religious Roots of the Secular Press (2002), which won a 2003 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR). He is a former political and investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, the Gannett News Service's Washington, D.C. bureau, and the Lansing State Journal.

Table of Contents

1. Journalists Challenging the Boundaries of Journalism and Fiction
2. Artful Falsehoods and the Constraints of the Journalist's Life
3. Hemingway as Seeker of the 'Real Thing' and the Epistemology of Art
4. The Funhouse Mirror: Journalists Portraying Journalists in Their Fiction

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