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Readers of bestsellers, books which sell over 100.000 copies in a short time, feel ashamed to acknowledge such wguilty pleasuresn in view of the general opinion against their poor literary quality. The equation between high number of readers and poor quality has not been solved but there is little doubt that the impact of bestsellers mirrors and afects the ways in which we envisage our present, past and future. Precisely this capacity of popular fiction to articulate contemporary issues calls for critica1 analysis. This paper tackles the issue from the penpective of popular fiction studies considering factors and issues involved in the success of bestselling fiction both in its production and consumption. Because of their international dimension, «The Da Vinci Code» and «Harry Potter» offer two unavoidable paradigms in adult and children fiction to be considered.
Popular literature, bestseller lists, conspiracy, cultural studies
BLAKE, A. (2002): The irresistible rise of Harry Potter. Londres, Verso. (La irresistible ascensión de Harry Potter. Madrid, Edaf, 2005).
BLOOM, H. (2000): «Can 35 million buyers be wrong? Yes», en Wall Street Journal; 11 julio; 26.
BRAYFIELD, C. (1996): Bestseller. Secrets of successful writing. London, Fourth State.
BROWN, D. (2003): The da Vinci Code. London, Corgy Books. (El código da Vinci. Barcelona, Urano).
BROWNE, R.B. (1996): «Internationalizing popular culture», en The Journal of Popular Culture 30; 47-89.
BYATT, A.S. (2003): «Harry Potter and the childish adult», en New York Times, 11 julio; 13.
CARROLL, N. (1998): A philosophy of mass art. Oxford, O.U.P.
CAWELTI, J.G. (1969): «The concept of formula in the study of popular literature», en Journal of Popular Culture, 3; 381-390.
COLE, S. (2005): Paradigms of Paranoia. The culture of conspiracy in contemporary American fiction. Tuscaloosa, The University of Alabama Press.
HARRINGTON, C.L & BIELBY, D.D. (2001): «Constructing the popular: cultural production and consumption», en HARRINGTON & BIELBY (Eds.): Popular culture. Production & consumption. Oxford, Blackwells; 1-15.
HENDER, P. (2003): «A crowd pleaser but no classic», en The Spectator, 30; 12 julio.
INTROVIGNE, M. (2005): Los Illuminati y el Priorato de Sión. Madrid, Rialp.
NEL, P. (2005): «Is there a text in this advertising campaign? Literature, marketing, and Harry Potter», en The Lion and the Unicorn, 29; 236-67.