Classification of authors by literary prestige

Marc Verboord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

41 Citations (Scopus)
869 Downloads (Pure)


In this study, I investigated a new system to classify authors by literary prestige. The notion of ‘canon’ was considered to lackclear theoretical and empirical grounding. Evaluation and classification practices were examined and operationalized from the perspective of literary field theory. The value that is attributed to authors by literary institutions and their agents was taken as the main indicator of literary prestige. Value attribution was measured by establishing the attention authors receive from such institutions as literary encyclopedias, literary prizes, academic studies, and publishing houses. Measurements were conducted for 502 authors varying in both critical acclaim and public appeal. The statistical technique Princals was used to analyze institutions’ measures. The results show that one dimension stood out, which was interpreted as authors’ literary prestige. Given its institutional base, this form of prestige is called Institutional Literary Prestige (ILP). The subsequent classification of authors met expectations. However, further validations of the instrument are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259
Number of pages1
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Cite this