‘From vocational calling to career construction: Late-career authors and critical self-reflection’
Authors: Dix, H.
Editors: Wiley, C. and Pace, I.
Publisher: Springer Nature
A particular challenge when thinking about contemporary writers is that their later works often suffer through critical comparison to earlier ones for which they are well known. Moreover, until recently the concept of a literary career had received inadequate critical attention. This chapter argues that our thinking about these issues has the potential to be enhanced by career construction theory (CCT). By applying CCT to a discussion of the late stage of contemporary authorial careers, it presents career construction as a new theory of authorship, and constructs a framework for considering what is specific to late-career works. The chapter then draws attention to forms of creative self-reflection that writers are able to engage in during the later stages of their careers, and finally assesses the extent to which such forms of reflection entail a merging of individual vision with wider social themes and collective aspirations.