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Revisiting Style in Literary and Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Articulations

Edited By Jasmin Herrmann, Moritz Ingwersen, Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank and Olga Ludmila Tarapata

The collected volume brings together leading scholars from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities to interrogate the productivity of style as an element of cultural expression and a parameter of cultural analysis. Despite its ubiquity in examinations of artistic singularity or postulations of epochal patterns, style remains a notoriously elusive concept. Suspicious of monolithic definitions, the contributions assembled in this volume address style from a multiplicity of methodological and conceptual angles, drawing from fields that include literary studies, film and media studies, post-structuralist philosophy, philosophy of science, and American cultural studies.

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22 “Some Girls Are Just Born With Glitter in Their Veins:” A Beginning of Pop Literary Communication from Interference (around 1700) to its Echo (around 2000)

Extract



The only rule is don’t be boring and dress cute wherever you go.

Life is too short to blend in.

- Paris Hilton, Confessions of an Heiress

Abstract: This essay is an attempt at defining pop-literature, using three basic criteria that have proven valid for most ‘pop novels’. Criterion I: Pop literature fosters the confusion between author and figure in terms of their general bearing or habitus. Criterion II: Pop novels provide their readers with orientational knowledge regarding this habitus and can serve as catechisms of a modern and elegant lifestyle. Criterion III: Pop literature makes use of the doctrinal topoi of elegant communication. Taking into account all three of these criteria, the history of pop literature begins around 1700 with Christian Friedrich Hunold’s arrival in Hamburg, when gallant literature enters a new phase.

Keywords: style and conversation, gallant literature, German Pop Literature, systems theory and literature, Paris Hilton, Christian Friedrich Hunold, Alexander von Schönburg

Whoever wanted to be dead sure about being ‘in style’ around 1700 would adopt the manners of aristocracy, i.e., behave ‘gallantly’—or at least try to do so. The noble preference for exclusion could have turned into a real obstacle for those less privileged by birth, if it had not been for literature and the book market, the participation in which was and still is a matter of money (and not of intelligence, even less of noble origin). In a time when...

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