The Rules of Art

The Rules of Art : Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field

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This is Bourdieu's long-awaited study of Flaubert and the formation of the modern literary field.It was in the nineteenth century that the literary universe as we know it today took shape, as a space set apart from the approved academies of the state. No one could any longer dictate with authority 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.The aesthetic project of Gustave Flaubert was formed at the very moment when the literary field became autonomous. Through a careful analysis of the genesis and structure of the literary field, Bourdieu is able to show how the work of Flaubert was shaped by the different currents, movements, schools and authors of the time - how, in other words, Flaubert was the product of the very field that he helped to produce.By uncovering the rules of art, the logic which writers and literary institutions obey and which expressed itself in a sublimated form in their works, Pierre Bourdieu shatters the illusion of the all-powerful creative genius.
At the same time, he lays the foundations for a sociological analysis of literary works which would be concerned not only with the material production of the work itself, but also with the production of its value.Widely praised in France, where the book was compared with Sartre's classic work on Flaubert, The Rules of Art will be extensively discussed in the English-speaking world. It will be recognized as one of the most important contributions of the last decade to the study of the social and historical conditions of literary works.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 743g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • French
  • 4 illustrations, 2 tables, indices
  • 0745611524
  • 9780745611525

Table of contents

Prologue: Flaubert, Analyst of Flaubert: A Reading of Sentimental Education. Part I: Three States of the Field. 1. The Conquest of Autonomy: The Critical Phase in the Emergence of the Field. 2. The Emergence of a Dualist Structure. 3. The Market for Symbolic Goods. Part II: Foundations of a Science of Works of Art. 4. Questions of Method. 5. The Author's Point of View: Some General Properties of Fields of Cultural Production. Part III: To Understand Understanding. 6. The Historical Genesis of the Pure Aesthetic. 7. The Social Genesis of the Eye. 8. A Theory of Reading in Practice. Da Capo Illusion and the Illusio. Postscript For a Corporatism of the Universal. Notes. Index of Names. Subject Index.
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224 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 39% (87)
4 38% (85)
3 20% (44)
2 3% (7)
1 0% (1)
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