Vestibules to the “world of topsyturvydom” – paratexts in nonsense anthologies

Agata Hołobut, Olga Hołownia

Abstract


In this article we examine eighteen selected nonsense anthologies published in the UK since the 1920s, working on the assumption that they define, re-shape and visually reinterpret the genre for a general audience in parallel to scholarly approaches to nonsense. In the first part of our paper we look at the process of anthologising and its main functions, followed by an overview of key nonsense anthologies. In the second part, we inspect peritexts that influence the reception of these collections and, by extension, the perception of literary nonsense, looking specifically at book titles, cover designs, tables of contents, prefaces and postfaces. In doing so we hope to reveal the implied reader of the anthologies, comment on their coverage relative to the established Victorian canon and recognise the distinctive features of the genre, foregrounded by the anthologists’ editorial and aesthetic choices.


Keywords


nonsense verse; anthology; paratexts; book covers; humour

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2017.5.3.holownia

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