Crumey, Andrew (2002) Lite. Irish Pages, 1 (2). pp. 241-245. ISSN 1477-6162

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How are literary reputations constructed? Granta magazine's recent listing, "The Best of Young British Novelists", is a case in point. When the exercise was first tried in 1983, it was against a background dominated by middle-aged or elderly writers such as Golding, Greene and Burgess. That a line-up of proven authors under 40 could include the likes of Julian Barnes, Martin Amis and Ian McEwan was seen as remarkable, and a sign that times were changing. But already in 1993, when Granta made a second list, the cult of youth had become wearying. And by January 2003, when the latest round-up was announced, cynicism had set in. Were these meant to be writers of real achievement, or young hopefuls? The boundaries, it seems, have become so blurred - by publishers and the media - that promise now equals achievement: predictions of literary success are a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reputations, it appears, are now manufactured in advance by publicists, and all the media need do is amplify the "buzz" surrounding the latest new name. I intend to question the accuracy of this assumption, arguing that glamorous young authors are hardly a new phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P300 Media studies
P400 Publishing
P500 Journalism
Q200 Comparative Literary studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: Andrew Crumey
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 16:02
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 11:52

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