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Title: Positioning the author : four writers in the field of cultural production, 1880-1900
Author: Jack, Isla L.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Using terms and ideas from Pierre Bourdieu's theories of cultural production, this thesis reconsiders the positions of four authors functioning at the end of the nineteenth century. Therefore, a brief introduction presents the principles behind Bourdieu's work. The reconstruction of the field is begun in the first chapter, 'Towards a Democratic Culture; A Redefining Voice of the 1890s'. It reveals the literary field to be the site of a struggle to impose the legitimate definition of literature and investigates some of the new voices entering the conflict in the 1890s. Considering the development of the literary biography, the literary manual, literary tourism and the appearance of the 'celebrity' author, it points towards the conflict at the heart of the field which centres around opposing principles of valuation. In Chapter Two, 'Structural Divisions: George Gissing and New Grub Street', the reconstruction of the field is continued through a re-positioning of Gissing within the social and cultural networks of his time. It considered in more detail the opposing principles of legitimacy underlying the issue of definition, through a new reading of the novel which introduces the conflict between the sub-fields of large-scale and restricted production. Chapter Three, 'Collective Misrecognition": Walter Besant and Henry James' concentrated on the dual economy necessitated by the differing systems of valuation adopted in each sub-field, revealing the problems encountered in a field which deals in both symbolic and economic capital. The field of Besant and James is reconstructed initially through their contributions to 'The Art of Fiction' debate. The writing, action and fortunes of Besant and James are then reappraised in order to position them within this dual economy, and question their status as representatives of the commercialisation of art and indifferent aestheticism, respectively. Finally, the sub-field of large scale production is considered in greater detail in Chapter Four, 'The Sub-Field of Large-Scale Production: J.M. Barrie, New Journalism and Sentimental Tommy'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available