Article | Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011 | The Politics of the Essay

Title:
The Politics of the Essay
Author:
Frans Ruiter: Utrecht University, Netherlands
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2011
Conference:
Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011
Issue:
062
Article no.:
051
Pages:
489-494
No. of pages:
6
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2011-11-22
ISBN:
978-91-7519-993-1
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


The notion of ‘heteronymous literature’; as introduced by Bourdieu; covers literature which takes its significance from something else than literature itself. It is produced out of commercial; religious as well as political motivation. I will focus on the relation between literature and politics. Understood as the interrelation between politics and literature; the genre of the essay is potentially interesting to inquire into the interrelation between heteronomy and autonomy. As an argumentative and persuasive discourse; an essay very well may have a political message. What could then be the difference between the ‘literary’ essay and more strait forwarded kinds of political discourse? Starting from a taxonomy by Angenot; I will differentiate between genres closely related to the political essay (pamphlet; satire; polemics) which all negotiate their own pact with the reader. All these genres seem to be more ‘political’ than the essay. From the view point of ‘autonomous’ literature the political essay even may be a contradiction in terminus. I will investigate to what extend speaking from a political position is consolatory with ‘the essayistic spirit’ (De Obaldia). If; as I would argue; the literary essay has a politics of its own; what is its relation to ‘non literary’ political discourse?

Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011

Author:
Frans Ruiter
Title:
The Politics of the Essay
References:

Angenot; Marc (1982). La parole pamphlétaire. Typologie des discours modernes. Payot.


Amy J. Devitt; Writing Genres. Southern Illinois University Press; 2008.


Good; Graham (1998). The Observing Self: Rediscovering the Essay. Routledge Kegan & Paul.


de Obaldia; Claire; (1995). The Essayistic Spirit. Literature; Modern Criticism; and the Essay. Clarendon Press.


RanciĂšre; Jacques (2004). The Politics of Aesthetics. Translated with an introduction by Gabriel Rockhill. With and afterword by Slavoj ĆœiĆŸek. Continuum.


Sarocchi; Jean (2002); “Un drĂŽle de genre”; in: Pierre Glaudes (ed.); L’essai: MĂ©tamprhoses d’un genre. Presses Universitaire du Mirail; pp. 17–29.


SchÀrf; Christian (1999). Geschichte des Essays. Von Montaigne bis Adorno. Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.


Sloterdijk; Peter (1993). ‘Essayismus in unserer Zeit’; in: Peter Sloterdijk; Medien Zeit: Drei Gegenwartsdiagnostische Versuche. Cantz.


Snyder; John (1991). Prospects of Power. Tragedy; Satire; Essay; and the Theory of Genre. University Press of Kentucky.

Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011

Author:
Frans Ruiter
Title:
The Politics of the Essay
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