Trading on Cultural Capital: Madame de Staël's Politics of Literature

This article examines how Staël was able to sustain her public status even while in exile, especially in light of her continued commitment to Revolutionary (although not strictly democratic) ideals and her public opposition to Napoleonic ideology. How she was able to keep her vision in circulation or, to draw on Pierre Bourdieu's terminology, how she traded on her cultural capital—her ideas and published commodities—is tracked by contrasting Staël's text on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, published at the beginning of her literary career, with Dix années d'exil (1820) and Considérations sur la Révolution française (1818), both published posthumously

Beatrice Guenther
Volume 2011-12 Spring-Summer; 40.(3-4): 203-221