116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Literary Celebrity, Authorship, and #metoo

Karin Bauer, McGill University

Swiss author Christian Kracht brought a #metoo moment into the prestigious Frankfurter Poetic-Vorlesungen with his revelation that, at age 12, he was sexually abused by a priest. Rather than reinterpreting his literary work in light of these revelations, this paper seeks to explore the impact of these revelations on the trajectory of the constructions of Kracht's authorship and his status as literary celebrity.

Proposal: 

While the literary world is reeling from the sexual harassment surrounding the Swedish Academy and the postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swiss author Christian Kracht brought a #metoo moment into the prestigious Frankfurter Poetic-Vorlesungen with his revelation that, at age 12, he was sexually abused by a priest. Rather than reinterpreting his literary work in light of the revelations, this paper seeks to explore the trajectory of Kracht’s constructions of authorship and the status as a literary celebrity from enfant terrible of pop literature to middlebrow author invested with considerable cultural capital. I will seek to ascertain the impact of the revelation on the evolving construction and imagery of Kracht’s authorship.