Di / 18:00 – 20:00

Intermediaries, Translators, and Mediators

The Making of World Authorship

Gisèle Sapiro

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Gartensaal, Goethestr. 31, 45128 Essen

Who creates the world author? While Foucault’s question “What’s an author?” opened the path to the study of censorship and copyright, Bourdieu’s interrogation, “Who creates the creator?”, turned the attention to the network of cultural intermediaries who produce writers and artists, especially publishers and gallerists. Like at the national level, world authorship is shaped by a network of individuals and institutions. The theoretical framework proposed here will distinguish different categories of agents which take part in the (inter)mediation process: intermediaries, translators, and mediators. These distinctions allow us to better circumscribe labour division in the two production and reception stages. However, making world authorship requires specific skills and agents that specialize more or less in intermediation across cultures. These specificities appear when one focuses on translation, which has become, after 1850, the main mode of transcultural circulation of literary works, in close relation to the nationalization of culture.

This talk is part of the workshop “Controversial Literary Prizes“.