Jeanette Winterson's De stenen goden. David Damrosch and Pierre Bourdieu Revisited
Ierland, Kirsten van
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In this thesis I argue that Pierre Bourdieu’s elaborate theory on the literary field provides an interesting deepening of David Damrosch’s theory of world literature. I argue that the two theories are similar is some respects though they use different terms – the literary field versus the literary system; the changing literary views in a given culture; the question of who determines what is literature. I argue that Bourdieu’s notions provide a deeper understanding of the workings of world literature. I will demonstrate this by means of a study of the publication of the Dutch translation of The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson. By analyzing the publicity campaign, I demonstrate that all the agents in the literary field together determine what is literature and therefore what ultimately becomes world literature. I demonstrate that Jeanette Winterson may indeed be seen as “world literature.” The publication of De stenen goden and the publicity campaign further consecrate her work in terms of Bourdieu, especially because of the cooperation between Utrecht University and Contact Publishers.