Life Of Pi And The Rise Of Popular Literary Culture Essay

1143 Words Oct 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Bestsellers to Blockbusters:
Life of Pi and the Rise of Popular Literary Culture

In his book Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture, Jim Collins, as the title suggests, examines how literature has changed from a private, print-based experience, to a social experience open to a much wider audience. He argues that infrastructural changes (such as superstores, blockbuster film adaptations, and television book clubs) and cultural changes (such as the devaluation of traditional taste brokers) have resulted in a flourishing reading public comprised of more amateur readers. Indeed, Collins suggests that “the notion that refined taste, or the information needed to enjoy sophisticated cultural pleasures, is now easily accessible outside a formal education” is the most fundamental change of all (7-8). In this literary culture fuelled by a “complicated mix of technology and taste, of culture and commerce” (8), the very perceptions of who is a ‘literary’ reader and what is a ‘literary’ text are changing to accommodate a reading community that values literature as a cultural good symbolic of certain tastes, attitudes, and beliefs. Drawing on Collins’ ideas, I wish to explore Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and its adaptation into an award-winning film directed by Ang Lee in the context of a literary culture now thoroughly intertwined with both consumer culture and convergence culture. The production and reception of Life of Pi in both mediums offers an…

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