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  • 1 Tel Aviv University Unit of Culture Research Tel Aviv 69978 Israel Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
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Abstract  

Literature, like any other social activity capable of generating perpetuated products, has likewise functioned along the ages on two different levels. On the one level, it managed to generate and provide possible models for consensual explanations of the world as well as for actual behavior. On the other, it managed to establish itself as a possible asset in an international stock exchange of symbolic capitals. Writing an adequate history of literature, it is suggested in this paper, should better take into account these two levels, as well as the correlations between them. With a better understanding of these correlations, the history of literature can be better understood as an often major factor in the social organization of life. This can help, on a more general level, to integrate the study of literature into a wider framework, by underlining the most distinctive and manifest function of literature in the creation and maintenance of society by means of its culture.

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