1st Edition

Literature and Power A Critical Investigation of Literary Legitimacy

By Zhu Guohua Copyright 2023

    With reference to the theoretical framework of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, this book offers a critical investigation into such epic issues as the end of art and the inherent laws of literature’s evolution, while conflating the two into one major argumentation.

    The book proceeds from Hegel’s claim of “the end of art” to tackle the universal yet essential problem of literature: its legitimacy in a sociological sense. It invests Bourdieu’s sociological terms – power, capital, habitus, field, and so forth-into the study of literature and art while taking on other theoretical enquiries, particularly the Marxist exploration into ideology, as well as aspects of economics and communication studies.

    This book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of the sociology of literature, cultural studies, and those with specific interests in Chinese literature, literary and art theory.

    Part I: Literary Power: A Sociological Interpretation  1. Logic of Power: Disenchanting the Aura of Literature  2. Cultural Capital of Literature (1): Narration of Literature  3. Cultural Capital of Literature (2): Position in the Discursive Order  Part Ⅱ: Historical Evolution of Literary Power  4. Communication Media and Literary Concept  5. Literary Power in the Era of Oral Communication  6. Literary Power in the Age of Writing and Printing  7. Literary Power in the Age of Mass Media  Part Ⅲ: Literature as the Signifying Strategy of Power  8. Power’s Mode of Imposing on Literature  9. Political Power and Literature: Logic of Distinction  10. Economic Power and Literature: Symbolic Struggle of Literary Field


    Zhu Guohu is Changjiang Scholars Program Distinguished Professor, dean of School of International Chinese Studies, East China Normal University, editor-in-chief of TSLA (Theoretical Studies in Literature and Art), and chair of Chinese Association of Literary Theory, specializing in Eastern and Western literary theories. His books include The Cultural Logic of Power: Bourdieu’s Sociological Poetics (2016 expanded edition).