Schrijvers als sterren. Literaire interviews in de Nederlandse Esquire

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Since the 1980’s there is a market for men’s magazines in the Netherlands. In 1991 Gijs van de Westelaken founded a Dutch edition of the originally American lifestyle magazine Esquire. Although it is not a literary magazine, Esquire pays attention to literature in almost every issue by prepublications, book reviews, literary columns and interviews with literary authors (literary interviews). Even though much research has been done on literature in popular women's magazines, the men's segment is still unexplored territory. This thesis focuses on the men’s magazine Esquire and on the genre of the literary interview, because of the phenomenon that the visibility of the author has become more important in the modern celebrity culture and society. The thesis describes on the basis of all 65 literary interviews that are published in Esquire between 1990 and 2014 how the genre functions in the magazine and what image of ! masculini ty emerges in the interviews. It turns out that the number of literary interviews increased over the years and that there are large differences between male and female interviewees, both in number and in appearance, age and imaging. Female interviewees are less frequently interviewed and they are younger and more attractive than men. While Esquire shows female authors frequently as a sex object, male authors are generally imaged as macho men, family men, sophisticated men or stylish men. It can also be concluded that literature is not the main subject of the interviews. Some interviews are not about literature at all and in others it is only briefly noted as the occasion of the interview. The personality of the interviewed author seems, especially in the longreads, a more important topic. This finding fits with the phenomenon of the celebrity culture.
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