In a recent post about Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus's article "Surface Reading," I suggested that the history of a text's reception could constitute a surface-reading practice. Here, I want to take up my promise to discuss the affinities between reception history and one of the modes of reading that Best and Marcus do include: genre criticism.


I recently, albeit somewhat belatedly, read Stephen Best and Sharon Marcus's 2009 article "Surface Reading: An Introduction" which opens their special issue of Representations on "The Way We Read Now."


The subject of my inaugural Arcade post is another new project that I’m undertaking: a study of Victorian religious novels published in the 1880s.

Anne DeWitt's picture
Anne DeWitt
I am lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program, where I teach a class on Darwin.  My research focuses on Victorian literature and culture, particular the novel and its manifold contexts.  I am currently finishing a book about novelistic responses to the changes in science's status during the nineteenth century, and I am starting a new project about best-selling religious novels in the 1880s.