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Abstract Katja Mihurko Poniž & Tanja Badalic

The Reception of European Writers in the 19th Century in Slovenia: a Research of Three Library Catalogues

Important sources for the researching of the reading culture are library catalogues and catalogues of booksellers. On the basis of those it is possible to reconstruct the history of reading, which is not merely a part of the cultural history and sociology, but also an important source of research in the field of literature. However, the two often still “sit on different banks”. As Franco Moretti states in Atlas of the European Novel, it is necessary to “build the bridge between two lines of research: book history – and the history of forms” (page 143).

In the same direction this paper will unfold an empirical, quantitative study of the reception of literature of European female authors in the Slovenian territory - as much as it can be reconstructed from three catalogues - and a search for influence of European female writers on the literary creativity of Slovenian female authors in the 19th century. This paper will show which European female writers aroused enough interest in booksellers and librarians in the 19th century to be put on their bookshelves and whether the booksellers and librarians followed any criteria in doing so. These data will then be compared to the records of Slovenian female writers about the works of female authors whom they had read and been familiar with.

The paper will answer the question whether and where the Slovenian female authors searched for literary role models: in the icons of the female authorship such as George Sand, or in modern writers from literatures of small lands for whom co-existence with foreign and dominant culture was typical.

AsK, October 2012

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