Publication details

‘Bestseller’ is no longer a rude word: negotiating the art/commerce balance by Czech fiction publishers



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source POETICS
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Czech literary field; Fiction publishing; Art/commerce balance; Shifting rules; Blending rules
Description In this paper, I focus on how major fiction publishers renegotiate the art/commerce balance in the contemporary Czech literary field and I discuss their strategies in terms of conservative and progressive variants of rules of art and rules of commerce. I show that Czech publishers face many similar challenges known from the global literary field: they feel the field is getting faster, tighter, and more money-driven. Their responses still may be specific given the differences in historical development and culture they act within. In these conditions, new aspects of shifting literary rules may emerge. Thus, the paper contributes to the discussion on the shifting and blending rules in literary fields nowadays. The study is based on Bourdieu's theoretical model of the literary field and works with 24 semi-structured interviews with publishing professionals from houses that produce fiction of various types – highbrow, commercial, Czech, and translated – and that are of sizes from small to mid-sized to large. The research was conducted from 2010-16.

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