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Bourdieu and Literature

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John R. W. Speller

5. Literature and Cultural Politics

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1In the last decade of his career, Bourdieu became a major figure on the French political stage, following in the tradition of engaged public intellectuals including Foucault, Sartre, and Zola. This chapter explores the place of literature and literary effects within Bourdieu’s wider political-intellectual project. First, it traces what Bourdieu calls ’La production de l’idéologie dominante’, and explains the analogies between literary and political discourse, which is open therefore to literary modes of analysis and subversion. Next, it examines literature’s function as a vehicle for critical or ideological messages, and the particular force that literature can contribute to symbolic struggles. Thirdly, the chapter explores the reasons behind Bourdieu’s own interest in strategies and techniques exemplified in the literary and artistic fields, as we follow him moving towards the deployment of more ’literary’ devices in his own sociological writing. Finally, the chapter discusses Bourdieu’s attempts to establish or strengthen the organisational structures for collective and collaborative interventions by artists, writers, and intellectuals, including at an international scale – and the reasons for which his most ambitious initiatives (including for an International Parliament of Writers and Liber, an international book review) failed.

The production of the dominant ideology

  • 1 Pierre Bourdieu and Luc Boltanski, ’La Production de l’idéologie dominante’, Actes de la recherche (...)
  • 2 ’to produce messages on several levels’ (Free Exchange, 106).
  • 3 ’to shun the use of the word ’ideology’’ (Meditations, 181).
  • 4 Lane, Bourdieu’s Politics, pp. 49-50.
  • 5 References to ideology still seem useful, however, on the basis of familiarity and for the purpose (...)
  • 6 References will be to this edition.

2In 1976, Bourdieu and Luc Boltanski published in Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, the review Bourdieu had founded the previous year, a long article entitled ’La Production de l’idéologie dominante’.1 An early example of what Bourdieu, in Libre-échange, would offer as a model for politically engaged research, able to ’produire des messages à plusieurs niveaux’ (LE, 110),2 ’La Production de l’idéologie dominante’ combines text, photographs, cartoons, statistics, analysis, polemic and ironic humour, in a dissection of the neo-liberal doxa which was only just establishing itself as the ruling ideology in France. Although Bourdieu would later come to ’bannir l’usage du mot ”idéologie” ’3 from his work, as having too many misleading connotations of a theory of consciousness (which would be unable fully to explain embodied forms of practice) (MP, 216),4 this early text remains key to understanding important aspects of his later political interventions.5 For the purposes of this chapter, it can help to explain, in particular, Bourdieu’s interest in ’cultural politics’: in the role of cultural producers and works, including writers and literary texts, in ideological battles (or in his later terminology, ’luttes symboliques’), over the sense (meaning and direction) of social history. The significance and continued relevance of this text were confirmed when Raisons d’Agir, the independent publishing house Bourdieu co-founded in the late 1990s, re-published ’La Production de l’idéologie dominante’ in book form in 2008.6

3La Production de l’idéologie dominante begins with an introduction to the ’dominant discourse’, which had reached ideological supremacy in the 1960s, taught and rewarded at elite schools including the École nationale d’administration and the Institut d’études politiques de Paris. This discourse was generated from a system of classification and schemes of thought and action – something like a ’generative grammar’ (Chomsky) – which guided the opinions and judgments of the dominant. This system is what Bourdieu and Boltanski term ’l’idéologie dominante’. The ’dominant discourse’ is then built up from elements of this structure, which fit together according to its rules. Thus we get a string of ’commonplaces’ and ’received ideas’, which the person versed in this discourse can produce quite fluently. The associations which are likely to have been brought to the mind of literary scholars with the ’commonplace books’ kept by students in the Renaissance (a sort of dictionary of beautifully expressed sayings by Classical authors on stock subjects, for the purposes of rhetorical composition), and with Flaubert’s famous impatience with ’idées reçues’, are not accidental. In their own work, Bourdieu and Boltanski construct an ’Encyclopédie des idées reçues et des lieux communs en usage dans les lieux neutres’ – an evident pastiche of Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues, in which Flaubert documents the banalities and automaticised figures of speech that circulated in polite society in the nineteenth century. Bourdieu and Boltanski’s ’Encyclopédie’ collects exemplary formulations of the most frequently expressed ideas on the most commonly cited subjects in the dominant discourse, organised and cross-referenced in alphabetical order, from several dozen works, interviews, and articles. The ’Encyclopédie’ then serves as a point of reference for the rest of La Production de l’idéologie dominante, whenever one of the shared preoccupations (commonplaces) and opinions (the ’idées reçues’) of the dominant class is mentioned, usually under inverted commas (ID, 17-22).

  • 7 Gustave Flaubert, ’Lettre à Louise Colet, 1852’, in Correspondance, Series 3, 1852- 1854 (Paris: C (...)

4Bourdieu and Boltanski’s intention was not only to amuse (although, picking out the most recognisable traits of what is supposed to be a ’discours d’importance’ does produce an almost automatic effect of parody). Bourdieu and Boltanski insist on the ’scientificity’ of the ’Encyclopédie’, to which they give a three-page explanation and a full bibliography. Those it cites belonged to a real group, which was relatively coherent and conscious of itself (as shown by inter-citations and social inter-connections), and the dictionary is an accurate if distilled breakdown of their discourse (ID, 19). Clearly concerned that their analysis should not be dismissed as a joke, their protestations cannot hide, however, that the authors were also having some fun – as shown by the gratuitous mock title page, printed in the style of the nineteenth century, complete with crest and date of publication in Latin numerals (ID, 15). Then again, even the humour of the ’Encyclopédie’ was in a sense ’serious’, in that it reinforced its quasi-political purpose – the same, in fact, as that which Flaubert intended for his own Dictionnaire. Flaubert’s hope had been that ’une fois qu’on l’aurait lu on n’osât plus parler, de peur de dire naturellement une des phrases qui s’y trouvent’.7 As we will see, Bourdieu also recommended this ability to resist words, and resist repeating them, as one of the principal ’instruments of defence’ against the dominant discourse and ideology, which draws strength from appearing self-evident.

  • 8 ’Wherever it is applied, the scheme produces two opposed and hierarchised terms,evolution (or of i (...)

5According to Bourdieu and Boltanski’s analysis, the dominant ideology is structured by a fundamental opposition between the old and the new (or the past and the future, the traditional and the modern, etc.). Into one or the other of these categories fits each of the other components, forming opposing pairs: ’fermé/ouvert, bloqué/débloqué, petit/grand, clos/ouvert, local/universel, etc.’ As a rule, the first term is never evoked positively. This schema can be applied in any circumstances and to any object: the small village and the large town, the grocery story and the drugstore, prewar and post-war, France and America. ’Quel que soit le terrain auquel il s’applique’, Bourdieu and Boltanski write, ’le schème produit deux termes opposés et hiérarchisés, et du même coup la relation qui les unit, c’est-àdire le processus d’évolution (ou d’involution) conduisant de l’un à l’autre (soit par exemple le petit, le grand et la croissance)’ (ID, 57).88 The sequences of noun and adjective produced in this way can then be strung together and elaborated to create a flow of discourse, which (like an improvised narrative) can incorporate several themes:

  • 9 ’Each of the fundamental oppositions evokes, more or less directly, all of the others. Thus for ex (...)

Chacune des oppositions fondamentales évoque, plus ou moins directement, toutes les autres. C’est ainsi par exemple que de l’opposition entre le ’passé’ et ’avenir’ on peut passer à l’opposition entre le ’petit’ et le ’grand’, au double sens de ’planétaire’ et de ’complexe’, ou encore à l’opposition entre le ’local’, c’est-à-dire le ’provincial’ ou le ’national’ (et le nationaliste), et le cosmopolite qui, prise sous un autre rapport, s’identifie à l’opposition entre l’’immobile’ et le ’mobile’ (ID, 57).9

  • 10 ’Too good to be true’ (trans. J.S.).

6What Bourdieu and Boltanski present in La Production de l’idéologie dominante is an ’ideal’ model, which, they admit, may strike their readers as being ’trop beau pour être vrai’ (ID, 17).10 Individual habitus may have formed incompatible attachments (for example, to a romanticised vision of village life), and some may have internalised imperfectly the dominant ideology, leading to contradictions within the system; although and at the same time the relation which unifies them, which is to say the process of the authors note the extreme homogeneity of the French dominant class, in terms both of social origin and education, reduced discrepancies and discord. To give an image of the shared culture, values and beliefs, of the French political class (which is also part of what gives an elite its supreme confidence), La Production de l’idéologie dominante includes a photograph of the ’Simone Weil’ class of 1974, being led down the stairs of the École Nationale d’Administration by Michel Poniatowski (then Minister of State and Minister of the Interior, and himself an aluminus of the ENA), with his pet… a German short-tailed pointer, and Mlle Florence Hugodot, 26, sole woman in a group of besuited graduates, who seem to be sharing a private joke, ranked in files behind their paternalistic leader, who looks confidently past the camera, as if towards a bright and secure future.

’La Pensée Tietmeyer’

  • 11 Lucas Delattre, ’Le président de la Bundesbank parie sur l’euro en 1999’, Le onde, 17 October 1996

7Twenty years later, in a presentation delivered at the University of Freiburg, Bourdieu again drew inspiration from the literary tradition to analse the functioning of the neo-liberal discourse, which was by now massively dominant. Since he was speaking at a university known for its tradition of hermeneutical analysis, Bourdieu borrowed from its tools of textual criticism to analyse an interview published in Le Monde with Hans Tietmeyer,11 then president of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Bourdieu’s analysis (which it is useful to cite at some length) attempts to uncover the hidden presuppositions and unspoken implications behind Tietmeyer’s apparently anodyne statements, and to expose the rhetorical sleight of hand and automaticised figures of speech which enabled it to appear uncontroversial to the majority of its readers:

  • 12 ’Here is what ”the grand priest of the deutsche mark” has to say: ”The mportant thing today, is to (...)

Voici ce que dit le ’grand prêtre du deutsche mark’: ’L’enjeu aujourd’hui, c’est de créer les conditions favorables à une croissance durable, et la confiance des investisseurs. Il faut donc contrôler les budgets publics’. C’est-à-dire – il sera plus explicite dans les phrases suivantes – enterrer le plus vite possible l’État social, et entre autres choses, ses politiques sociales et culturelles dispendieuses, pour rassurer les investisseurs qui aimeraient mieux se charger eux-mêmes de leurs investissements culturels. (…) Je continue ma lecture: ’réformer le système de protection sociale’. C’est-à-dire enterrer le welfare state et ses politiques de protection sociale, bien faites pour ruiner la confiance des investisseurs (…).’Démanteler les rigidités sur les marchés du travail, de sorte qu’une nouvelle phase de croissance ne sera atteinte à nouveau que si nous faisons un effort de flexibilité sur le marché de travail’. Splendide travail rhétorique, qui peut se traduire: Courage travailleurs ! Tous ensemble faisons l’effort de flexibilité qui vous est demandé ! (…) Les travailleurs, s’ils lisaient un journal aussi indiscutablement sérieux que Le Monde, entendraient immédiatement ce qu’il faut entendre: travail de nuit, travail pendant les week-ends, horaires irréguliers, pression accrue, stress, etc. On voit que, ’sur-le-marché-du travail’, fonctionne comme une sorte d’épithète homérique susceptible d’être accroché à un certain nombre de mots, et l’on pourrait être tenté, pour mesurer la flexibilité du langage de M. Hans Tietmeyer, de parler par exemple de flexibilité ou de rigidité sur les marchés financiers. L’étrangeté de cet usage dans la langue de bois de M. Hans Tietmeyer permet de supposer qu’il ne saurait être question, dans son esprit, de ’démanteler les rigidités sur les marchés financiers’, ou de ’faire un effort de flexibilité sur les marchés financiers’. Ce qui autorise à penser que, contrairement à ce que peut laisser croire le ’nous’ du ’si nous faisons un effort’ de M. Hans Tietmeyer, c’est aux travailleurs et à eux seuls qu’est emandé cet effort de flexibilité (CF1, 51-54).12

  • 13 Bourdieu makes this reference to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in the itle of his article w (...)

8Again, we can notice that there is a humorous effect produced by treating Hans Tietmeyer’s text as if were a literary commentary passage, appearing to raise its status, but simultaneously deflating its rhetoric, by ’translating’ the ’Neoliberal Newspeak’ into plain words.13 The effect of aestheticisation is also to defamiliarise the text, drawing our attention to its form and structure (as if we were approaching a literary work), when in the course of a distracted and uncritical reading we may simply have followed Tietmeyer’s train of thought.

  • 14 ’If Mr. Hans Tietmeyer’s words come so easily, it is because they are everywhere’

9Yet Bourdieu was not, as we know, an adept of hermeneutic analysis, and the first thing he he would have added to theories of reception was to ask how the ’fusion of horizons’ (Gadamer) which brings our understanding in line with that of Tietmeyer’s text (or with any literary work) occurs. According to Bourdieu, ’si les mots du discours de M. Hans Tietmeyer passent si facilement, c’est qu’ils ont cours partout’ (CF1, 55).14 Starting as a drip in the 1930s, formulated in think-tanks and published subsequently in reviews such as Preuves and Der Monat (affiliated with the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an anti-communist internationale of intellectuals founded in 1950 and funded secretly by the CIA, until this link was revealed to scandal in 1967), the neo-liberal doxa now saturated the airwaves, and flowed from the mouths of politicians, journalists, ’organic’ intellectuals, and simple citizens, until, by a process of immersion familiar to language teachers, it could be understood and reproduced more or less fluently almost everywhere, without hesitation or forethought.

  • 15 Bourdieu’s references are: Keith Dixon, ’Les Évangélistes du Marché’, Liber, 32 1997), 5-6, expand (...)
  • 16 ’This is when teaching the art of resisting words becomes useful, the art of saying only what one (...)

10According to Bourdieu, the first line of defence against the dominant ideology was therefore to understand how it was produced and disseminated, and by whom. Bourdieu directs us to research in this area which had been going on already, by scholars in Britain, America and France.15 One of the services which the academic community could provide to the public, Bourdieu suggests, would be to circulate this information widely, and in accessible formats, so that they would see where their ideas come from, and whose interests they express (CF1, 34-35). Another instrument of defence, however (and one which has been losing its sense of purpose), is simply the ability to read texts closely, in order to understand how they can affect us at an aesthetic as well as cognitive level – for instance, in Tietmeyer’s text and others like it, by playing on the evocative connotations of ’openness’, ’flexibility’, ’adaptability’, ’mobility’, etc., which make ’liberalism’ sound like the road to universal emancipation (I, 351). We can find many of the sharpest tools for this sort of analysis in literary criticism: honed by the study of some of the most powerful and suggestive texts ever written. Standing back from language and examining our immediate responses to it, we open a space for reflection in which we can consider other possibilities. It is little surprise, then, that when asked by Didier Éribon how to oppose the imposition of dominant values, Bourdieu replied by citing the poet Francis Ponge: ’C’est alors qu’enseigner l’art de résister aux paroles devient utile, l’art de ne dire que ce que l’on veut dire. Apprendre à chacun l’art de fonder sa propre rhétorique est une oeuvre de salut public’ (QS, 17).16

On aesthetics and ideology

11One of the weaknesses of progressive movements against neo-liberalism, according to Bourdieu, was that they had underestimated its symbolic dimension, and lacked the cognitive and expressive instruments with which to combat it. This meant that they were struggling against not only brute domination and exploitation, but also against ’symbolic domination’, which controls how people see the world and their place within it: a ’soft’ form of domination, which is accepted as part of normal reality by those who suffer it, and who may even resist changes in the status quo. As we have seen, the dominant ideology was spread by the media, journalists, and politicians, but it was also spread by experts, who played in an important role in supporting the dominant order. The elite no longer justified its rule by God-given right, but by competence and merit, and backed up their political decisions with science (particularly economics), the new religion. These factors combined, on one hand, to reinforce the confidence of the elite in their own good sense, and on the other to encourage popular disengagement from politics: either on the basis that it was best left to the experts, or from resignation in the face of ’economic realities’.

  • 17 ’Against this ideology, which dresses as reason pure and simple a system of hought that is simply (...)

12Since ideology, in Bourdieu’s view, played such an important part in the maintenance of the social order, he also saw a role for critical intellectuals, including artists and writers, to counteract its effects. Academics and researchers could first of all meet the dominant on the terrain of theory: ’À cette idéologie, qui habille de raison pure une pensée simplement conservatrice’, he argued, ’il est important d’opposer des raisons, des arguments, des réfutations, des démonstrations, et donc de faire du travail scientifique’ (CF1, 60).17 Particularly close to Bourdieu’s heart was the idea of an ’économie du bonheur’, which would link social and economic policy, by counting the social costs and benefits of economic decisions. Bourdieu even hoped eventually to see a role for the sociologist at the level of political decision-making, in the way that economists are consulted currently (I, 354-55). Until then, researchers could expose the suffering caused by neoliberal policies, and try to spread this information widely (as Bourdieu and his co-workers did in La Misère du monde). Indeed, as part of this Bourdieu suggested turning economic arguments back against policy-makers:

  • 18 ’Even if it can appear cynical, we should turn back against the dominant conomy its own weapons, a (...)

même si cela peut paraître cynique, il faut retourner contre l’économie dominante ses propres armes, et rappeler, que, dans la logique de l’intérêt bien compris, la politique strictement économique n’est pas nécessairement économique – en insécurité des personnes et des biens, donc en police, etc. (…) Qu’est-ce que cela coûtera à long terme en débauchages, en souffrances, en maladies, en suicides, en alcoolisme, en consommation de drogue, en violence dans la famille, etc. autant de choses qui coûtent très cher, en argent, mais aussi en souffrance? (CF1, 45)18

13Neo-liberalism also had its ’organic intellectuals’ – like Anthony Giddens, theorist of the ’third way’ followed by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, against whom Bourdieu took a personal stand (I, 449; 471) – and it was important for those who had the expertise to confront them on their own ground.

  • 19 ’to give visible and sensible form to consequences of neoliberal policy that are
  • 20 ’words, said Sartre, can wreak havoc’ (Other Words, 149).

14It was not only by opposing rational arguments, though, that intellectuals could help in the struggle against neo-liberalism. As has often been observed, modern capitalism functions in large part by manufacturing desires, through advertising, films, bestsellers, etc., which celebrate consumer culture, and the materialistic, militaristic and moral values of the dominant. It was also important, therefore, to fight back with counterdiscourses which could function at the somatic and perceptual (aesthetic) level, and change the way people think about the direction the world is taking. Bourdieu suggests a particular role in this project for writers: experts in the creation of alternative and future worlds, they could give ’forme visible et sensible aux conséquences prévisibles mais non encore visibles de la politique néolibérale’ (I, 475).19 Writers also hold the symbolic power to challenge dominant representations and the system of values they uphold: for instance by giving voice and visibility to the victims of the political and economic order (immigrants, illegal workers, the poor…), who are more often blamed for society’s woes. ’Les mots’, as Bourdieu cites Sartre to say, ’peuvent faire des ravages’ (CD, 177),20 and the power to change how we think about and see the world is also a political force. We can find many precedents for this sort of work in the literary tradition, from Zola’s series Les Rougon-Macquart, which portrays the prostitution, alcoholism, and violence that accompanied the second wave of the industrial revolution, to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which has entered the popular consciousness, and provides a constant point of reference – and a beacon of warning – in today’s world of surveillance cameras, wars waged in the name of ’peace’ and ’freedom’, political jargon that narrows the range of thought, and even computer-generated (in the book, mechanically produced) music and novels.

  • 21 ’These new masters of thoughtless thought monopolize public debate to the etriment of professional (...)

15Another of the ways in which writers and artists could contribute to the symbolic struggle was by using the ’symbolic weapons’ of comedy, parody, satire, and pastiche, to unsettle our usual confidence and belief in figures of authority. A particular group Bourdieu singled out for such action were journalists, and especially those whom he termed ’mediaintellectuals’, who used their power over the means of cultural production and consecration (in particular television) to exert considerable influence over French political and cultural life. ’Ces nouveaux maîtres à penser sans pensée’, Bourdieu writes, ’monopolisent le débat public au détriment des professionnels de la politique (parlementaires, syndicalistes, etc.); et aussi des intellectuels’, whose traditional function they had replaced (RA, 556).21 But with neither the specialist competence nor the critical acumen to present serious resistance to the powerful and their powerful discourse, even their challenges served to ratify the existing order, as having stood up to scrutiny and debate (LE, 58-59). Again, there is a strong tradition of this sort of symbolic action in France, including the caricaturists of the Ancien régime in 1789 and Honoré Daumier in the 1830s, Le Canard enchaîné, a satirical newspaper founded in 1915, through to the comedian Coluche and the latex puppets on Les Guignols de l’info, a Canal-Plus television show.

  • 22 ’The belief that this or that future, either desired or feared, is possible, probable r inevitable (...)

16Of course, art alone cannot change the world, and Bourdieu puts us on our guard against the belief (which gained some currency in the 1960s) that literature is in itself subversive. Most ’symbolic revolutions’, Bourdieu notes, remain purely symbolic, leaving social mechanisms and power structures intact (CD, 177; MP, 156). Yet whereas the dominant ideology tends to close the fan of possible futures, for instance by presenting global ’free-market’ capitalism as, if not the best of all possible worlds, then at least the only ’reasonable’ and ’rational’ path – ’there is no alternative’ (Thatcher); ’Es gibt keine Alternativen’ (Schröder) – writers and artists could play a significant role in the properly symbolic struggle over the sense (direction and meaning) of the social world: of its history, and so also – as George Orwell well knew – of its future. This symbolic struggle can then lead to social struggles, which can change systems and structures. As Bourdieu writes: ’la croyance que tel ou tel avenir, désiré ou redouté, est possible, probable ou inévitable, peut, dans certaines conjonctures, mobiliser autour d’elle tout un groupe, et contribuer ainsi à favoriser ou à empêcher l’avènement de cet avenir’ (MP, 277–78),22 and literature and art can contribute to this mobilising effect.

  • 23 ’anyone can be a candidate’ (trans. J.S.).

17A major weakness of most artistic and literary interventions however, according to Bourdieu, is that, able to show, point, or evoke, they cannot explain or render intelligible (I, 380). Indeed, writers and artists who intervene practically in the political and public spheres risk embarrassing themselves when they are asked to explain their actions – bringing them into uncanny proximity with journalists and journalist-intellectuals whom Bourdieu also criticises for out-stepping their field of specialism, and for presenting simplistic interpretations of complicated problems. Bourdieu therefore thought that different specialists should support each other, combining their expertise – just as he himself supported the candidacy of the comedian Coluche in the 1981 presidential election, which, he explained, was a way to ’rappeler que n’importe qui peut être candidat’,23 and expose the closure and insularity of the French political field (CP, 55-56; I, 163). Bourdieu hoped that this kind of collaboration and support could be organised by setting up inter-disciplinary groupings, able to call on the diverse talents of its members.

  • 24 ’a critical programme bringing together scholars and artists, singers and satirists, ith the aim o (...)
  • 25 ’orient and organize a continuous and deepening work, associating writers nd specialists, on impor (...)
  • 26 ’a ”collective intellectual”, interdisciplinary and international’ (Political nterventions, 387).

18Bourdieu imagined, for instance, ’une émission critique qui associerait des chercheurs avec des artistes, des chansonniers, des satiristes, pour soumettre à l’épreuve de la satire et du rire ceux qui, parmi les journalistes, les hommes politiques, et les ”intellectuels” médiatiques, tombent de manière trop flagrante dans l’abus de pouvoir symbolique’ (I, 394).24 And he proposed to the International Parliament of Writers that it should ’orienter et organiser un travail continu et approfondi, associant les écrivains et les spécialistes, sur des problèmes politiques, économiques, culturels importants’ (I, 290-1).25 These groupings would be the seeds for Bourdieu’s dream of an ’intellectuel collectif, interdisciplinaire et international’ (I, 474- 75),26 which would be able to co-ordinate joint actions at an international level and mobilise a symbolic force equivalent to that of the mainstream media and public relations industry (which were already operating on a global scale). As we will see, there were considerable barriers to the realisation of these projects, especially their extension to the international level, and Bourdieu’s most ambitious plans (including for the International Parliament of Writers) failed. Firstly, however, it is useful to consider how, at the level of individual practice, Bourdieu himself took advice and guidance from writers and artists, to give his own political interventions greater symbolic force, and to introduce some of the artists and works he cites as possible models for new forms of symbolic action by intellectuals.

A politics of form

  • 27 Bourdieu and Grass, ’La tradition ”d’ouvrir sa gueule”’.
  • 28 Pierre Bourdieu and Günter Grass, ’The ”Progressive” Restoration’, New Left eview, 14 (2002), 63-7 (...)

19In 1999, Bourdieu met with the Nobel laureate Günter Grass in front of an audience of trade-unionists to discuss the role of intellectuals in society, stylistic practices in literature and sociology, neo-liberalism, and other topics. The dialogue was sent out on Radio Bremen, and excerpts from their conversation were printed simultaneously in Le Monde and the German weekly Die Zeit.27 In 2002, a longer version of their dialogue was published in the New Left Review.28 The title under which the original transcript was published in Le Monde, refers to the European ’tradition ”d’ouvrir sa gueule”, to speak out against injustice and the abuse of authority. It is also significant that this is a popular expression (not ’prendre la parole’), which suggests their desire to reach a wider popular audience. Bourdieu’s meeting with Grass repeated, in some respects, his 1991 collaboration with the German-American conceptual artist Hans Haacke. The edited transcript of their dialogue was published in 1993, under the title Libreéchange. This time, the two refer to ’plain-speaking’ (le franc-parler), which implies both honesty and a will to communicate, again very much in the spirit of ’speaking out’, and again with working-class connotations.

  • 29 Bourdieu and Grass, ’The ’Progressive’ Restoration’, p. 70.

20What Bourdieu claims to admire in Grass’s work is in fact his ’search for means of expression to convey a critical, subversive message to a very large audience’.29 For instance, in My Century, Grass evokes the major events in German twentieth-century history, but from the perspective of ordinary people: a sort of reverse strategy from the more usual sensationalising of Germany’s recent past, which, by making wars, massacres, Nazism, and concentration camps seem extraordinary, and strangely unimaginable, allows us to forget that these were part of people’s ordinary reality – so that we might also be encouraged to take a clear look at what is happening today, under our own noses.

21In his conversation with Haacke, Bourdieu discusses how similar effects could be produced to those created by the artist with the written word. Bourdieu admits to having difficulty finding equivalents to Haacke’s artistic practice in the history of philosophy or literature. One he suggests is the Austrian writer, journalist, playwright, and poet Karl Krauss (1874-1936) (LE, 11). Krauss’s provocations, published notably in his satirical journal Die Fackel, created veritable ’happenings’, which provoked his adversaries to make mistakes, or show themselves up (I, 37-38). We can see a comparison with the famous cancellation of Haacke’s solo exhibition at the Guggenheim, when Haacke refused to withdraw a piece detailing the business dealings of a New York real-estate company with strong ties to several art institutions [Shapolsky et al… (1971)], which demonstrated powerfully that corporate sponsorship restricts what artists and galleries are able to exhibit. Also like Haacke, Krauss turned the forces of his adversaries against them: for example, by using the techniques by which journalism constructs a particular vision of reality (headlines, selected quotations, even what is chosen to be reported or not) against journalism itself (I, 377; LE, 113). This is similar to a tactic deployed by Haacke, for example in A Breed Apart (1978), which re-works an advert for Jaguar cars by British Leyland to ’advertise’ the company’s support of South Africa’s apartheid regime, by selling it police and military vehicles.

  • 30 Introductory statement, Liber, 1 (1989), 48-72 (p. 48). ’To offer artists, writers, and scholars a (...)

22Interestingly, Bourdieu also draws another comparison between Die Fackel and his own sociological journal, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales (I, 375). Each makes use of the technique (which we can also find in Haacke’s work) of confronting the reader directly with a fragment of the ’real’ (a document, a photograph or an extract from an article), which, pasted into an analytical text (or placed within an artwork or in an art museum), can be compared to and resonate with the texts or other artefacts around it (I, 375). In Libre-échange, Bourdieu suggests this kind of artistic/literary experimentation, combining different levels or registers of language with visual elements, as one of the ways that critical texts could be made less abstract and more accessible: so that the theoretical text does not present an insurmountable obstacle, but can be easily referred to more tangible elements (of which it also informs our understanding) (LE, 110). If we look at Die Fackel, we can see that this sort of ’discursive montage’ could be taken much further. Whereas Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales is very much dominated by sociological texts (many written à la Bourdieu), Die Fackel uses diverse text types, such as essays, notes, commentaries, poems, aphorisms, drama, and other modes of literary expression (almost all written by Krauss himself). This was one of the directions that Liber, the European book review Bourdieu launched in 1989, could have taken, as it announced itself as offering ’aux artistes, aux écrivains et aux savants un forum où ils puissent débattre librement, dans un langage aussi accessible que possible, des ’problèmes intellectuels d’intérêt géneral’’.30 Although, for reasons we will discuss in the next section, it failed to become the collaborative venture that Bourdieu had intended.

  • 31 ’a politics of form’ (Free Exchange, 84).
  • 32 Cynthia Freeland, But is it Art? An Introduction to Art Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2 (...)
  • 33 ’Whether artists like it or not, artworks are always ideological tokens (…). As tokens of power an (...)
  • 34 ’the meaning and impact of a given object are not fixed for all eternity. They depend on the conte (...)

23Critics might object that Bourdieu’s vision for ’une politique de la forme’ (LE, 89)31 is too pedagogical: a regression, in fact, to ’social art’, or worse, propaganda, comparable to Stalinist or Nazi art. Certainly these criticisms have been directed at Haacke, who is Bourdieu’s main inspiration – a ’prophète exemplaire’ in the terms Bourdieu borrows from Max Weber (LE, 36). Cynthia Freeland, for example, argues that Haacke’s work is ’too preachy’ and ’ephemeral’, risks ’losing its punch when the context alters’, and does not therefore qualify as genuinely ’universal’ art.32 In Libre-échange, Haacke answers his critics, by noting that all art has always been a response to the politico-social determinations of its age. ’Les oeuvres d’art, que les artistes le veuillent ou non, sont toujours des marques idéologiques’, Haacke argues – if only insofar as they are always also ’marques de pouvoir et de capital symbolique’ (LE, 93).33 Also against the critics exemplified, here, by Freeland, Haacke adds that ’la signification et l’impact qu’a un objet donné ne sont pas fixés à perpétuité. Ils dépendent du contexte dans lequel on l’examine’ (LE, 94).34 This is true whether the work in question is a Rembrandt or a urinal. Another possible criticism is that the attempt to address the general public amounts necessarily to ’dumbing down’. On the contrary, Bourdieu and Haacke suggest that the attempt to find easier ways of expressing ideas and experiences can even lead to new theoretical and artistic discoveries, which had been excluded by the limits of their specialised languages:

  • 35 HH: If one pays attention to the forms and the language that are accessible to an uninitiated publ (...)

HH: Si on fait attention aux formes et au langage qui sont accessibles au grand public, on risque de découvrir des moyens qui ne font pas partie du répertoire ésotérique mais qui pourraient bien l’enrichir.
PB: Donc, contrairement à ce qu’on dit, l’intention de divulgation, loin de mener en tous les cas à des compromis ou des compromissions esthétiques, à abaisser le niveau, etc. peut être source de découvertes esthétiques (LE, 111).35

  • 36 Graw, ’Que Suis-Je?’ ’Intellectuals are very bad in this domain. Nor are there many artists who ha (...)
  • 37 Bourdieu and Grass, ’La tradition ”d’ouvrir sa gueule”’. ’It is more usual for philosophers to gro (...)

24Finally, Bourdieu was not unaware of the social barriers to this sort of interdisciplinary work. First of all, Bourdieu admits that the combination of artistic talent and critical intelligence embodied by Haacke is extremely rare. ’Les intellectuels sont très mauvais dans ce domaine’, Bourdieu says, speaking of the aspect of performance. ’Il n’y a pas non plus beaucoup d’artistes qui soient à la fois porteurs d’une vue intelligente, non-naïve et critique, et qui en même temps possèdent des instruments d’expression ayant une force symbolique’.36 Personal encounters such as those between Bourdieu and Haacke and Grass are also the exception. As Grass commented when he met Bourdieu, ’il est plus fréquent que les philosophes se rassemblent dans un coin de la pièce, les sociologues dans un autre et les écrivains, en froid les uns avec les autres, dans l’arrière-boutique’.37 This is why Bourdieu worked particularly over the 1990s to mobilise intellectual and cultural groupings that could bring together the symbolic skills and capital in the field that are currently dispersed and divided. Yet these initiatives ran into their own difficulties.

For a collective intellectual

  • 38 ’an international power of criticism and watchfulness, or even of proposals’ (Rules, 348).

25In May 1989, Bourdieu presented a paper in Turin which marks the start of a period of more intense political activism on his own part, and during which he called consistently upon others in the academic and artistic communities to join him and mobilise collectively. Bourdieu calls for the creation of an interdisciplinary and international ’intellectuel collectif’, which would constitute ’un pouvoir international de critique et de surveillance, voire de proposition’ (RA, 558),38 and restore the intellectuals’ role as ’un des derniers contrepouvoirs critiques capables de s’opposer aux forces de l’ordre économique et politique’ (RA, 545). At least (but as we will see in Chapter 6, the two things could be connected), intellectuals should join forces, he urged, to defend their own social conditions of existence, which (as we began to see in Chapter 3, and will examine more closely in Chapter 6) Bourdieu considered under threat from the commercialisation of the book trade and the publishing industry, from new forms of State patronage, and from the massive domination of journalism and television over cultural life, in France and elsewhere (RA, 558).

  • 39 ’designed to place the analytical skills of researchers at the service of movements resisting neol (...)

26Bourdieu had some experience of establishing such networks. In the wake of May 1968, Bourdieu set up the Centre de sociologie de l’éducation et la culture (CSEC), to reflect on the reform and democratisation of education and cultural institutions. In 1975, he established his own sociological review, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, around which he focused his research group. Bourdieu also presided over l’Association de réflexion sur les enseignements supérieurs et la recherche (ARESER), set up in 1992 to give voice to the views of academics on the direction of French higher education. Bourdieu was also involved in the Comité international de soutien aux intellectuels algériens (CISIA), created in 1993 to support Algerian intellectuals who, since the beginning of the civil war, had been victims of violence and executions (see I, 293-95). And in the mid-1990s Bourdieu helped to launch Raisons d’Agir, which announced itself as ’un intellectuel collectif autonome’, ’destiné à mettre les compétences analytiques des chercheurs au service des mouvements de résistance aux politiques néolibérales, pour contrebalancer l’influence des think-tanks conservateurs’ (editors’ comment, I, 331). 39

  • 40 This discussion of Liber is based on Peter Collier’s article ’Liber: Liberty and Literature’ in Fr (...)
  • 41 ’contribute to create the conditions of a free circulation of ideas’ (trans. J.S.).

27Bourdieu’s attempts to create organisations on an international scale, however, met with less success. Bourdieu’s grandest project was, as it happens, a fundamentally ’literary’ project: Liber, a European book review, which launched in October 1989.40 Bourdieu envisaged Liber as a way of uniting Europe’s intellectuals around a shared project. It was also envisaged that it would ’contribuer à créer les conditions d’une circulation libre des idées’,41 by working to overcome the linguistic barriers, slowness of translations, and inertia of scholastic institutions, which impede communication between European cultures. The review had an initially strong start. It found a clutch of institutional sponsors, and was carried as a free supplement in national newspapers in Britain, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. Yet it soon ran into difficulty. The review faltered after just the first few issues, as financial backers and host publications pulled out one by one, and as the structure of its organisation disintegrated – leaving, in the end, only Bourdieu and one other running the entire operation (CP, 79). Already by the seventh issue, Liber had retreated to the French language, and between the covers of Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, although it retained its pan-European coverage. The review was quietly disbanded just before its tenth anniversary.

  • 42 Salman Rushdie, ’A Declaration of Independence: For the International Parliament of Writers’, in L (...)
  • 43 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Un parlement des écrivains pour quoi faire?’, Libération, 3 November 1994. Repri (...)
  • 44 ’the International Writers’ Parliament should promote the publication of White Papers presenting t (...)

28Another cautionary tale concerns the International Parliament of Writers, established in 1993 by writers and intellectuals including Bourdieu, Beryl Bainbridge, Toni Morrison, Jacques Derrida, Christopher Hitchens, and Salman Rushdie. In a manifesto statement, ’A Declaration of Independence’ (1994), Rushdie describes the purpose of the parliament as being to ’fight for oppressed writers and against all those who persecute them and their work, and to renew continually the declaration of independence without which writing is impossible; and not only writing but dreaming; and not only dreaming, but thought; and not only thought, but liberty itself’.42 Key among its practical initiatives was the creation of a network of Cities of Asylum, which provided safe-haven and support to writers fleeing censorship and persecution. While clearly endorsing these aims and initiatives, Bourdieu proposed a far more ambitious programme for the Parliament, in a rejoinder to Rushdie’s manifesto first published in Libération.43 Bourdieu envisaged giving the International Parliament of Writers a far more organised administrative structure, including secretariats, commissions, regional meetings, etc., from which to launch simultaneous press-conferences, demonstrations, and petitions, etc.; and proposed expanding the parliament’s remit, to include the defence of autonomous instances of distribution (publishing houses, magazines, translation policy), which, as we have seen, are also crucial components in the production of literary texts. Clearly with his own vision for an ’intellectuel collectif’ in mind, Bourdieu also saw the writers’ parliament working with other specialist groupings to produce ’livres blancs présentant les résultats du travail de ’commissions de spécialistes’ (accompagnées de contributions d’écrivains) et servant de base à des revendications ou des recommendations pratiques qui seront défendues collectivement dans la presse’ (I, 292).44 Bourdieu’s proposals went unheeded, however, and he scaled back his involvement. Even in its more limited capacity, the International Parliament of Writers was always a fragile and fractious grouping. It was also dissolved after a decade, and without much comment.

  • 45 Loïc Wacquant, ’From Ruling Class to Field of power: An Interview with Pierre Bourdieu on La Noble (...)
  • 46 ’bring together those whom Foucault referred to as ”specific intellectuals” into a ”ghcollective i (...)
  • 47 Graw, ’Que Suis-Je?’ ’These things must be prepared very slowly so that they real and last’ (trans (...)

29Perhaps, as Bourdieu suggested in a 1989 interview, Europe’s intellectuals were ’not yet ready’ for the sort of collaboration and joint commitment he was trying to encourage – which was without precedent in any national tradition, and which ruled out a certain number of preestablished roles.45 The notion of an ’intellectuel collectif’ was intended to overcome the opposition, particularly strong in English-speaking countries (which do not have the tradition of Voltaire, Zola, and Sartre), between scholarship and politics, or between the ’pure’ and ’committed’ intellectual. But it was also constructed against the Sartrean model of engagement on every possible issue, which exposed intellectuals to the risk of out-stepping their field of competence. As Loïc Wacquant suggests, it may perhaps be understood best as a sort of synthesis of Sartre’s ’total intellectual’ and Foucault’s ’specific intellectual’, who limits his or her political activity to a particular area of expertise (IRS, 190). Bourdieu wanted to ’rassembler des ”intellectuels spécifiques” au sens de Foucault, dans un ”intellectuel collectif”, interdisciplinaire et international’ (I, 474-75),46 able to roam across a broad range of issues, and to produce a wide variety of forms of intervention by drawing, on the specialist skills and expertise its members. At least with Liber, Bourdieu admits to having wanted to ’aller trop vite et trop haut’. As he came to see, it takes time to invent and consolidate a new position in the cultural field: ’on doit préparer ce genre de choses très lentement pour que cela soit réel et puisse durer’.47

  • 48 ’a movement able to demand and obtain an an activist commitment, i.e., contributions (subscription (...)

30Yet there are also more practical reasons why Bourdieu’s dream of an ’international of intellectuals’ appears unrealistic. As the Liber project proved, any organisation requires a steady source of funding, and demands high levels of commitment, especially if it is voluntary, in which case the symbolic reward becomes paramount. It is difficult to see where such an internationale would find sponsors, especially if two of its targets were to be transnational media enterprises and governments. In his plans for the International Parliament of Writers, Bourdieu seems to suggest it would run on pure generosity. The Parliament should be ’capable de demander et d’obtenir un dévouement militant, c’est-à-dire des contributions (cotisation, don de temps et de travail) sans contrepartie (anonymat, travail collectif) et respectueux des singularités’ (I, 290).48 Bourdieu’s own sociology however suggests this is a near impossible request: that the reserves of goodwill will soon run dry if individuals do not receive anything in return for their ’gifts’. The idea of imposing organisations and bureaucracies is also unlikely to appeal to artists and writers, who (as Bourdieu again suggests) are drawn to the field of cultural production precisely because of its extremely low degree of institutionalisation, and the degree of freedom and independence it not only permits but encourages. Intellectuals might unite around particular issues, but their campaigns are most often ad hoc, and they disperse soon afterwards.

  • 49 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 68.
  • 50 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 68.

31As Ahearne writes, ’the odds, clearly, would always be against such a potentially nebulous pole, liable always to rescatter, and whose only substantial capital is cultural and symbolic’.49 Yet we may also be reminded of Bourdieu’s analysis of the nineteenth-century literary and artistic fields in France, in light of which, as Ahearne suggests, Bourdieu may be seen to have been attempting something ’homologous’ to the proponents of l’art pour l’art. Oppressed and stifled by the cultural climate of the Second Empire, which was awash with ’industrial’ literature serialised in the expanding press, and dominated by the most conventional and compliant of artists and writers, who were celebrated with commissions and pensions from Napoleon III, in which anti-intellectualism was rife, and economic values or ’le règne de l’argent’ (RA, 87) prevailed, artists and writers including Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Manet, worked to create a new become position and ’possibility’ in the cultural field. Refusing both the ’bourgeois’ art of the dominant class and the ’social art’ of the realists, which they judged to be aesthetically inferior, these artists seceded from all existing authorities, and created their own ’empire within an empire’, subject to its own nomos – imposing a new system of values and dispositions in the intellectual body (RA, 122-25). Certainly it helped, then as now, to have a private income or assured inheritance. But writers also found material and symbolic support from unlikely sources, such as Princess Mathilde, and even from competing interests in the culture industry, which opened up new ways of making a living, through publishing and journalism. Bourdieu admits this ’empire’ was in its formative phase apolitical and ’radicalement élitiste’ (RA, 549). But within a few decades its structure was strong enough that it could be used by Zola and his fellow ’intellectuels’ as a platform from which to launch their protest against the injustice of Dreyfus’s imprisonment, combining intellectual autonomy and political engagement. ’In a homologous fashion’, Ahearne writes, ’Bourdieu could be seen as seeking to help into being a new position in the cultural policy field that could alter the play of forces within that field’.50 Faced with new forms of patronage and censorship, more subtle and insidious than in the past, Bourdieu sought to reaffirm and strengthen cultural autonomy, by creating more organised and institutionalised groups/platforms than had existed previously. In which case, we should be able to use the same words to describe Bourdieu’s projects for a ’collective intellectual’ as he uses to write about l’art pour l’art:

  • 51 ’Rather than a ready-made position which only has to be taken up (…) [it] is a position to be made (...)

plus qu’une position toute faite, qu’il suffirait de prendre, (…) [c’]est une position à faire, dépourvue de tout équivalent dans le champ du pouvoir (…). Ceux qui prétendent l’occuper ne peuvent pas la faire exister qu’en faisant le champ dans lequel elle pourrait trouver place, c’est-à-dire en révolutionnant un monde de l’art qui l’exclut, en fait et en droit (RA, 131).51

Notes

1 Pierre Bourdieu and Luc Boltanski, ’La Production de l’idéologie dominante’, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 2/3 (1976), 3-73.

2 ’to produce messages on several levels’ (Free Exchange, 106).

3 ’to shun the use of the word ’ideology’’ (Meditations, 181).

4 Lane, Bourdieu’s Politics, pp. 49-50.

5 References to ideology still seem useful, however, on the basis of familiarity and for the purposes of communication, and so have been retained in this chapter, which will, however, begin to replace them with Bourdieu’s preferred language of symbolic violence and symbolic struggle.

6 References will be to this edition.

7 Gustave Flaubert, ’Lettre à Louise Colet, 1852’, in Correspondance, Series 3, 1852- 1854 (Paris: Conard, 1927), p. 67. ’Once you read it you wouldn’t dare to speak, lest you let slip one of the phrases it contains’ (trans. J.S.).

8 ’Wherever it is applied, the scheme produces two opposed and hierarchised terms,evolution (or of involution) from one to another (for example the small, the big, and growth)’ (trans. J.S.).

9 ’Each of the fundamental oppositions evokes, more or less directly, all of the others. Thus for example from the opposition between the ”past” and ”future” one can pass to the opposition between the ”small” and ”large”, in the double sense of ”planetary” and ”complex”, or else to the opposition between the ”local”, which is to say the ”provincial” or the ”national” (and the nationalist), and the cosmopolitan which, from another angle, is identified with the opposition between the ”immobile” and the ”mobile” ’ (trans. J.S.).

10 ’Too good to be true’ (trans. J.S.).

11 Lucas Delattre, ’Le président de la Bundesbank parie sur l’euro en 1999’, Le onde, 17 October 1996.

12 ’Here is what ”the grand priest of the deutsche mark” has to say: ”The mportant thing today, is to create conditions favourable to durable growth, and he confidence of investors. We should therefore control public budgets”. Which s to say – and he will be more explicit later on – bury as quickly as possible the tate, and among other things, its costly social and cultural policies, to reassure nvestors who would prefer to take care of their own cultural investments. (…)’ll continue my reading: ”reform the system of social protection”. Which is to say ry the Welfare State and its policies of social protection, which risk ruining the onfidence of investors (…).”Dismantle rigidities on the work market, since a new hase of growth will not be achieved unless we make an effort for flexibility on the mployment market”. A splendid rhetorical turn of phrase, which can be translated s: Take courage workers! All together lets make the effort for flexibility which s demanded of you! Workers, if they read a newspaper which is so undeniably erious as Le Monde, would immediately understand what this means: nightshifts, eek-end work, irregular hours, increased pressure, stress, etc.. We can notice hat ”on-the-employment-market” functions as a sort of Homeric epithet which an be stuck on at the end of a phrase, and we might be tempted, to measure the lexibility or the rigidity of Mr. Hans Tietmeyer’s language, to speak for example bout flexibility or rigidity on the financial markets. The strangeness of this usage n Mr. Hans Tietmeyer’s cant allows us to suppose that it would never be question, n his heart, of ”dismantling the rigidities on the financial markets”, or of ”making n effort for flexibility on the financial market”. Which also allows us to suppose hat, contrary to what is suggested by that ”we” in ”if we make an effort” from Mr. ans Tietmeyer, it is from the workers and from them alone that is demanded this ffort of flexibility’ (trans. J.S.).

13 Bourdieu makes this reference to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in the itle of his article with Loïc Wacquant, ’Neoliberal Newspeak. Notes on the New lanetary Vulgate’, Radical Philosophy, 105 (2001), 2-5.

14 ’If Mr. Hans Tietmeyer’s words come so easily, it is because they are everywhere’

(trans. J.S.).

15 Bourdieu’s references are: Keith Dixon, ’Les Évangélistes du Marché’, Liber, 32 1997), 5-6, expanded into a book by Raisons d’Agir in 1998; and Pierre Grémion, reuves: une revue européenne à Paris (Paris: Juilliard, 1989), and Intelligence de l’anticommunisme: e Congrès pour la liberté de la culture à Paris 1950-1975 (Paris: Fayard, 995).

16 ’This is when teaching the art of resisting words becomes useful, the art of saying only what one wants to say. Teaching everyone the art of founding their

own rhetoric is a public service’ (trans. J.S.).

17 ’Against this ideology, which dresses as reason pure and simple a system of hought that is simply conservative, it is important to oppose reasons, arguments, efutations, demonstrations, and therefore to do scientific work’ (trans. J.S.).

18 ’Even if it can appear cynical, we should turn back against the dominant conomy its own weapons, and point out that, according to the logic of wellunderstood nterest, strictly economic policies are not necessarily economical – in erms of insecurity of people and things, so in policing, etc. (…) What will that cost n the long term in job losses, suffering, sickness, suicides, alcoholism, drug-taking, omestic violence, etc. so many things which are very costly, in money, but also in uffering?’ (trans. J.S.).

19 ’to give visible and sensible form to consequences of neoliberal policy that are

predictable but not yet visible’ (Political Interventions, 387).

20 ’words, said Sartre, can wreak havoc’ (Other Words, 149).

21 ’These new masters of thoughtless thought monopolize public debate to the etriment of professionals of politics (parliamentary legislators, trade union leaders, tc.), and also to the detriment of intellectuals’ (Rules, 346).

22 ’The belief that this or that future, either desired or feared, is possible, probable r inevitable can, in some historical conditions, mobilize a group around it and so elp to favour or prevent the coming of that future’ (Meditations, 235).

23 ’anyone can be a candidate’ (trans. J.S.).

24 ’a critical programme bringing together scholars and artists, singers and satirists, ith the aim of putting to the test of satire and laughter those journalists, politicians, nd media ”intellectuals” who fall in too glaring fashion into abuse of symbolic ower’ (Political Interventions, 323).

25 ’orient and organize a continuous and deepening work, associating writers nd specialists, on important political, economic and cultural problems’ (Political nterventions, 239).

26 ’a ”collective intellectual”, interdisciplinary and international’ (Political nterventions, 387).

27 Bourdieu and Grass, ’La tradition ”d’ouvrir sa gueule”’.

28 Pierre Bourdieu and Günter Grass, ’The ”Progressive” Restoration’, New Left eview, 14 (2002), 63-77.

29 Bourdieu and Grass, ’The ’Progressive’ Restoration’, p. 70.

30 Introductory statement, Liber, 1 (1989), 48-72 (p. 48). ’To offer artists, writers, and scholars a forum in which to debate freely and as accessibly as possible ”intellectual problems of general interest” ’ (trans. J.S.).

31 ’a politics of form’ (Free Exchange, 84).

32 Cynthia Freeland, But is it Art? An Introduction to Art Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 113. Cited in Lane, Bourdieu’s Politics, p. 135.

33 ’Whether artists like it or not, artworks are always ideological tokens (…). As tokens of power and symbolic capital (I hope my use of another of your terms is correct) they play a political role’ (Free Exchange, 89).

34 ’the meaning and impact of a given object are not fixed for all eternity. They depend on the context in which one sees them’ (Free Exchange, 89).

35 HH: If one pays attention to the forms and the language that are accessible to an uninitiated public, one can discover things that could enrich the esoteric repertoire. PB: Therefore, contrary to what is said, the intention of reaching a broad public, far from leading in all cases to concessions of aesthetic compromises, to lowering the level, may well be a source of aesthetic discoveries’ (Free Exchange, 107)

36 Graw, ’Que Suis-Je?’ ’Intellectuals are very bad in this domain. Nor are there many artists who have an intelligent, critical and non-naïve perspective, and who are also equipped with instruments of expression with symbolic force’ (trans. J.S.).

37 Bourdieu and Grass, ’La tradition ”d’ouvrir sa gueule”’. ’It is more usual for philosophers to group together in one corner of the room, sociologists in another and writers, giving each other the cold shoulder, in the back room (trans. J.S.).

38 ’an international power of criticism and watchfulness, or even of proposals’ (Rules, 348).

39 ’designed to place the analytical skills of researchers at the service of movements resisting neoliberal policies, and thus counterbalance the influence of conservative think-tanks’ (Political Interventions, 273).

40 This discussion of Liber is based on Peter Collier’s article ’Liber: Liberty and Literature’ in French Cultural Studies, 4 (1993), 291-304.

41 ’contribute to create the conditions of a free circulation of ideas’ (trans. J.S.).

42 Salman Rushdie, ’A Declaration of Independence: For the International Parliament of Writers’, in Liber, 17 (1994), p. 29.

43 Pierre Bourdieu, ’Un parlement des écrivains pour quoi faire?’, Libération, 3 November 1994. Reprinted in (I, 289-92).

44 ’the International Writers’ Parliament should promote the publication of White Papers presenting the results of the work of ’commissions of specialists’ (accompanied by contributions from writers) and serving as a basis for demands or practical recommendations that are collectively defended in the press’ (Political Interventions, 240).

45 Loïc Wacquant, ’From Ruling Class to Field of power: An Interview with Pierre Bourdieu on La Noblesse d’État’, Theory Culture Society, 10 (1993), 19-44 (p. 38).

46 ’bring together those whom Foucault referred to as ”specific intellectuals” into a ”ghcollective intellectual”, interdisciplinary and international’ (Political Interventions, 387).

47 Graw, ’Que Suis-Je?’ ’These things must be prepared very slowly so that they real and last’ (trans. J.S.).

48 ’a movement able to demand and obtain an an activist commitment, i.e., contributions (subscriptions, gifts of time and work) that are unrewarded (hence anonymity, collective work) and respectful of singularities’ (Political Interventions, 239).

49 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 68.

50 Ahearne, Between Cultural Theory and Policy, p. 68.

51 ’Rather than a ready-made position which only has to be taken up (…) [it] is a position to be made, devoid of any equivalent in the field of power. Those who would take up that position cannot make it exist except by making the field in which a place could be found for it, that is, by revolutionizing an art world that excludes it, in fact and in law’ (Rules, 76).

Acheter