Public and Private Posture: Zadie Smith (1975)

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Abstract

This chapter will focus on Smith’s posture, and in particular on how her public position and literary work negotiate issues such as identification, celebrity, style and authenticity. First, the paradox of the ‘celebrity authority’ will be examined, followed by a Derrida-inspired analysis of Smith’s second novel, The Autograph Man (2002), as it engages explicitly with fame, stardom and fandom. A reading of some of Smith’s essays, in the third section, will confirm that the construction of Smith’s self-image in and beyond the text has to be understood as an inventive play of authenticity, style, and autobiographical voice. In the conclusion it will be argued that Smith’s orchestration of posture(s) transforms the star into an author with cultural authority.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCelebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages179-201
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781137558671
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • celebrity studies
  • authorship
  • literature

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  • Cite this

    Heynders, O. (2016). Public and Private Posture: Zadie Smith (1975). In Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature (pp. 179-201). Palgrave Macmillan.