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Great American Novel

Scott Yarbrough and Kirk Curnutt

Few literary terms are more hotly debated, discounted, or derided than the "Great American Novel." But while critics routinely dismiss the phrase as at best hype and as at worst exclusionary, the belief that a national literature commensurate with both the scope and the contradictions of being American persists. In this podcast Scott Yarbrough and Kirk Curnutt examine totemic works such as Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and Toni Morrison's Beloved that have been labeled GANs, exploring their themes, forms, and reception histories, asking why, when, and how they entered the literary canon.
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