The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

Language: English

Pages: 432

ISBN: 0804726272

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Written with verve and intensity (and a good bit of wordplay), this is the long-awaited study of Flaubert and the modern literary field that constitutes the definitive work on the sociology of art by one of the world’s leading social theorists. Drawing upon the history of literature and art from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Bourdieu develops an original theory of art conceived as an autonomous value. He argues powerfully against those who refuse to acknowledge the interconnection between art and the structures of social relations within which it is produced and received. As Bourdieu shows, art’s new autonomy is one such structure, which complicates but does not eliminate the interconnection.

The literary universe as we know it today took shape in the nineteenth century as a space set apart from the approved academies of the state. No one could any longer dictate what ought to be written or decree the canons of good taste. Recognition and consecration were produced in and through the struggle in which writers, critics, and publishers confronted one another.

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maintain a threatened intellectual power) . The very size of the book, similar to that of compendiums or treatises,. the amplitude of the field of vision and the universe of objects taken up (in appearance coextensive with life itself, in fact very classical and very near to a broadened scholarly tradition), the supreme loftiness (marked among other signs by the absence of references) of the confrontation with authors of the highest rank (Hegel, Husserl, or Heidegger) and especially perhaps the

at the very moment when Duchamp makes an artistic game of it, the pun, one of the most typical traits of bohemian culture (the philosopher Colline emits a continual flow of them in Scenes of Bohemian Life), becomes one of the foundations of the art of cabaret which is developed around Montmartre, at the Lapin Agile (the 'Agile Rabbit'), a pun on the name of Andre Gil, who painted its sign) and at the Chat Noir. With figures such as Willy, Maurice Donnay and Alphonse Allais, cabaret exploits the

without realizing it . . . ) All thIS means that one cannot divide a science of works into two ! To Understand Understanding The Historical Genesis of the Pure Aesthetic parts, one devoted to production, the other to perception. The principle of reflexivity automatically asserts itself here: the science of the production of the work of art, that is, of the progressive emergence of a relatively autonomous field of production providing itself with its own market, and of a production which,

function of identifying groups united in practical terms, such as painters assembled in a notable exhibition or a consecrated gallery, or writers published by the same publisher, or else of activating simple and loose characterizations (of the type 'Denise Rene means abstract geometric art', 'Alexandre Iolas means Max Ernst', or 'Arman is trashcans' and 'Christo is wrapping' ) . A s a n avant-garde painter says i n response t o a questionnaire o n photo­ graphy, tastes may be 'dated' with

inclinations lead them to an idealized vision of the condition of the artist in the eighteenth century) from perceiving that, as Zola says, 'money has emancipated the writer, money has created modern letters.'82 In terms very close to those Baudelaire employed, Zola • I 92 93 Three States of the Field The Conquest of Autonomy recalls in fact that it is money which has freed the writer from dependence on aristocratic patronage and public powers and, against the proponents of a romantic

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