Post Scriptum: Illusio and the Reproduction of the Corps—Notes from an Ambivalent Gatekeeper

  • Sebastiaan Faber


Humanistic scholarship is adrift. As the intrinsic value of literature, once assumed as a given, has come under question, the scope of the phenomena to be analyzed has widened. Yet literature continues to be a preferred object of scholarly analysis, leading to a mismatch between claims made and proof adduced. This mismatch illustrates a deeper problem that, through Bourdieu, can be described as a loss of illusio: the shared belief in the game among those invested in it. While Bourdieu writes that “one cannot found a genuine science of the work of art without tearing oneself out of the illusio,” he adds that it is “only exceptionally, especially in moments of crisis, that certain agents may develop a conscious and explicit representation of the game as a game, one which destroys the investment in the game, the illusio, by making it appear what it always objectively is … [:] a historical fiction ….”

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastiaan Faber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Hispanic StudiesOberlin CollegeOberlinUSA

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