Mediated authority : portraits of the writer in the age of mechanical reproduction from Baudelaire to Beigbeder
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Through the study of visual artefacts created around French writers between the 1850s and the present, this project seeks to examine the role of visual culture in the fashioning of writers’ artistic and social identities. The writers considered, Charles Baudelaire, Colette, Romain Gary and, to a lesser extent, Frédéric Beigbeder, lived through times when the world of visual media was undergoing major changes due to the advent of new technologies, respectively, photography, cinema and television. Paintings, photographs, films, but also extracts of TV shows will therefore testify to various discursive and non-discursive phenomena at work in the depiction of the cultural figure of the author, such as the staging of a public auctorial identity, the construction of a persona for marketing purposes, or the fictionalization of personal history, but they will demonstrate as well that literature may have entered a new stage when words and writing are no longer the only essential feature of a literary career.