Esther’s Space- journey through my life

November 22, 2008

What I actually do.

Filed under: Australia — Tags: , , , — estherspace @ 9:46 pm

Here’s what I have for my advanced project introduction.  It’s been a tough go.  But the paper’s due in 8 days, so it’s time to have something done. 

            As a contemporary literary, cultural, and economic powerhouse, it is important to think about the ways in which the Man Booker Prize is capable of constructing a particular socio-economic and cultural reality through its selection of winning books.  Building upon Pierre Bourdieu, James English has described cultural prizes such as the Booker as “piece[s] of objectified symbolic capital” (110).  Indeed, the Man Booker Prize appears to be a perfect illustration of how an amorphous body, once collectively recognized, is capable of creating its own authority and maintaining it by engaging in a “long chain of official acts of consecration” (Bordieu 12).  The annually changing selection committees, while individually innocent, have produced a strong chain of Booker Prize-winning novels that collectively uphold Britain’s power as an intellectual empire that must confer recognition upon its former colonies. 

This paper is an investigation of the methods by which the Man Booker Prize creates imaginary colonial places and people through the awarding of a literary prize.  Questions that will be answered include, what are the criteria the selection committee is searching to fulfill; what sorts of Commonwealth communities does the Man Booker Prize award; and, how does Peter Carey’s Booker-winning novel, Oscar and Lucinda, work with or against these ideals?

What do you think?  Any and ALL feedback is appreciated.

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