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PART II From Creation to ProduCtion Field reps M arketing sta Review ers Sellers Literary agents Acquisition editors Field of Production (commerce) Field of Reception (meaning) Field of Creation (art) 61 4 Literary agents and doubLe duties OR, Why An AuThOR’s success Is OuT Of heR cOnTROl NOWUCIT, NOW YOU DON’T In the fall of 1981, when Cornelia Nixon first started her job as an assistant professor in the English Department at Indiana University, she was a liter- ary critic by training with a passion for fiction writing. But before obtaining her PhD in

2 A.P. Watt: Professional Literary Agent In 1975, A.P. Watt and Son celebrated its centenary as a literary agency. As Hilary Rubinstein, a partner in the firm since 1965, wrote at the time, ‘Lit- erary agencies, more than most businesses, depend for their success on the personality of their principals’; moreover ‘many, probably most, do not outlive the lifetime of their progenitor.’1 The firm’s ‘progenitor’ – Alexander Pollock Watt – not only established the foundation for his fam- ily’s business, but also established the profession of literary agency. Watt was

A clear path leads from Sybil Hutchinson, who helped James Reaney achieve considerable fame, to Bella Pomer (1926–), a simi- larly enterprising literary agent who eventually saw her most prominent client, Carol Shields, win international acclaim. In 1978, following seven years as subsidiary rights manager for the Macmillan Company of Canada, Pomer left her secure position and established the Bella Pomer Literary Agency. At the time, there were few literary agents in Canada, but Pomer was undaunted by the prospect of entering a burgeoning field that soon was

1 Why Did the Professional Literary Agent Emerge in the 1880s? In the late 1870s, A.P. Watt set up shop as a literary agent. His self- proclaimed task was to ‘do nothing but sell or lease copyrights,’1 and to make his living doing so, thereby distinguishing him from ‘amateur’ liter- ary agents – the friends or relatives of writers – who had preceded him. Before examining Watt’s establishment of himself as a literary agent, it is necessary to answer the question: what was it about this time that prompted Watt, and others who followed his lead, to embark on a

transactions. Mankind is not at liberty to treat knowledge as a commodity, and submit it to the rules of the mercantile world. As the proverb has it, “knowledge is a gift of God, and hence cannot be sold.”2 The production of this printed paragon of all the vir- tues, which, Rebuffi implies, has fl owed from the pens of earnest schol- ars declaring themselves committed to the ser vice of truth, was entrusted in Rebuffi ’s day to publishers who, according to the seventeenth- century chapter two In Medias Res: A Literary Agent in Frankfurt, 1606– 1615 10 • Scholarship


El objetivo principal de este trabajo es, a partir de una perspectiva de sociología de la literatura y de la cultura, entender cuál es el papel, en la actualidad, de los agentes literarios como intermediarios culturales en relación a la circulación de obras y autores/as y a la producción literaria, con foco específico en el caso del sistema literario brasileño.

ausgeleuchtet werden. Die Auswertung eines 2004 an einschlägig Tätige in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz ausgeschickten Fragebogens zeitigte punktuell aufschlussreiche Ergebnisse, die signalisieren, dass derzeit im literarischen Feld Umstruk- turierungsprozesse im Gange sind, die »Neuverhandlungen« unter den involvierten Ak- teurInnen implizieren. This contribution is divided into two parts: the first part comprises a meta-study, which attempts to read between the lines of recently written secondary literature on the role of proof readers, literary agents and

(Verlage, LektorInnen und AgentInnen, För- derinstitutionen, ÜbersetzerInnen) sowie den gesetzlichen Rahmenbedingungen. This introductory article provides an overview of the contributions to this volume which pave the way for the sociology of literary translation and it outlines a programme for the research of this issue. Special emphasis is given to the relationships on the global transla- tion field, the phenomenon of translation viewed as a social activity, the agencies and agents involved in the production of translation (publishing houses, proof readers and literary

addition to investigating the seminal roles played by publishers, literary agents, and retailers, it discusses the impact of literary prizes, such as the Booker Prize, in the attention economy as well as growing trends of self-marketing, self-publishing, and the role of small online platforms in promoting national literatures and disseminating the works of both established and upcoming writers. Key Terms: Marketing, publication industry, Booker Prize, self-publishing, glocality 1  A Tale of Two Markets: The Glocality of World Literatures Samuel Langhorne Clemens