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Fetishizing Intellectual Achievement: The Nobel Prize and European Literary Celebrity

Braun, Rebecca (2011) Fetishizing Intellectual Achievement: The Nobel Prize and European Literary Celebrity. Celebrity Studies, 2 (3). pp. 320-334. ISSN 1939-2397

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Abstract

This paper investigates the concept of literary celebrity within a specifically European context. Following the work of Pascale Casanova and Pierre Bourdieu, it suggests that the Nobel Prize is a specifically European consecrating institution within ‘international literary space’ and that it is both a product of and major contributor to a mid-European, non-market-driven model for valuing high-end cultural achievement. Whilst sharing some of the outer trappings of broader, Anglo-American determined conceptions of celebrity in terms of, for example, the media attention bestowed upon famous authors, this model, with its emphasis on intellectual and moral instruction, functions in a fundamentally different way to transatlantic market-driven models of fame. After exploring the development of the prize in line with the emergence of both wider modern-day celebrity and underlying processes of intellectual fetishization inherent in the French-defined field of restricted cultural production, I consider how individual authors, of both European and non-European nationality, respond to this culturally contingent model of literary celebrity. My analysis focuses both on their formulation of a response at the point of consecration and what their response tells us more generally about the social and cultural value of authorship in a European setting.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Celebrity Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords: authorship ; literary celebrity ; Nobel Prize ; fetish ; intellectual ; Jelinek ; Pamuk ; Naipaul ; Celebrity
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > European Languages & Cultures
ID Code: 55583
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 09 Jul 2012 15:06
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2013 11:03
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55583

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