Parution – John R.W. Speller, “Bourdieu and Literature”

John R.W. Speller, Bourdieu and Literature
Open Books publisher, 2011

Bourdieu and Literature is a wide-ranging, rigorous and accessible introduction to the relationship between Pierre Bourdieu’s work and literary studies. It provides a comprehensive overview and critical assessment of his contributions to literary theory and his thinking about authors and literary works.

One of the foremost French intellectuals of the post-war era, Bourdieu has become a standard point of reference in the fields of anthropology, linguistics, art history, cultural studies, politics, and sociology, but his longstanding interest in literature has often been overlooked. This study explores the impact of literature on Bourdieu’s intellectual itinerary, and how his literary understanding intersected with his sociological theory and thinking about cultural policy.

This is the first full-length study of Bourdieu’s work on literature in English, and it provides an invaluable resource for students and scholars of literary studies, cultural theory and sociology.

Introduction

1. Positions
The field of reception
The field of production
Lévi-Strauss and structuralism
The death of intellectuals
Post-structuralism
Appendix: the composition of Les Règles de l’Art

2. Methods
Epistemological preliminaries
The author’s point of view
The field of power
The literary field
Habitus and trajectory
The space of possibilities
World literary space
Appendix: Reflexivity and reading

3. Autonomy
The evolution of the literary field
Art and money
Zola and the Dreyfus affair
Reversals
Autonomy and value

4. Science and Literature
L’Éducation Sentimentale
‘Le démontage impie de la fiction’
Cross-overs
Fiction and realism

5. Literature and Cultural Politics
The production of the dominant ideology
‘La Pensée Tietmeyer’
On aesthetics and ideology
A politics of form
For a collective intellectual

6. Literature and Cultural Policy
Reproduction and distinction
Proposals for the future of education
Between the state and the free market
For a corporatism of the universal

Conclusion
References
Index

John R.W. Speller is Modern Languages Coordinator at the Technical University of Łódź in Poland. He is co-editing (with Jeremy Ahearne) a forthcoming special issue of Paragraph, Pierre Bourdieu and the Literary Field (2012) and edits the online resource http://bourdieuandliterature.com


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