The Specialism of Unspecificity: Autonomy Claims and the Authority of Modern Writers - Het specialisme van onspecificiteit: Autonomieclaims en de autoriteit van moderne schrijvers
Keywords:Autonomy, Authority, Literary Authorship, Public Intellectual, Multatuli, W.F. Hermans / Autonomie, autoriteit, literair auteurschap, publieke intellectueel, W.F. Hermans
Autonomy is often interpreted as a historical phenomenon: in field theory and other historical narratives about literature, we see the tendency to formulate a ‘starting point’ for the autonomization of the literary field and of poetics. Drawing on the ideas of Andrew Goldstone and others, this article develops a different perspective. It shows that literary autonomy also functions as a discourse, through which authors claim a social position. This position is not one of detachment and demarcation, but one of a principled lack of any specific political or ideological attachment. Some writers, including important Dutch authors such as Multatuli and Willem Frederik Hermans, use this autonomy claim to underpin their authority.
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