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Friday, October 26, 2012

Scholarly Dreams Deferred

The Fall 2012 Oxford University Press literature catalogue of new and noteworthy titles is tantalizing, especially for scholars who have broad interests.  Scholars who teach at research universities may have easy access to Oxford Scholarship Online or to OUP printed titles. Independent scholars without university or college ties can make special efforts to access OUP's attractive books on foundational scholarship and critical trends.  Few of them, I suspect, are wealthy enough to purchase the books that beckon them to explore new worlds.

As a micro-case study, I listed all the books I would like to buy and save 20%:

The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernism ---$120

The Oxford Handbook of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry ---$120

The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature --$120

American Modernism and Depression Documenting ---$24

The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel --$24

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories ---$21.95

The Works of Alain Locke ---$36

The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines, Vol. II ---$200

Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance --$24

The Mount of Vision: African American Prophetic Tradition, 1800-1950 ---$52

Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics ----$18.40

Changing Subjects: Digressions in Modern American Poetry ---$28

Speaking to You: Contemporary Poetry and Public Address --$88

Total for books              $876.35

Shipping and handling   $  23.50

TOTAL                          $899.85

Tentative conclusions

(1) I have expensive tastes

(2) Only well-endowed libraries can afford to make this $899.85 investment

(3)  I should use common sense, keep $899.85 in my savings account, and let my deferred dream explode!

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