The article sets out from Giorgio Agamben's definition of fashion as a metaphor of the contemporary. It examines the question of the private and the public through the 'best-seller' discourse prevalent in Brazilian publishing between the end of the twentieth century and the start of the twenty-first. This production is explored through the negative sense attributed to the metaphor of fashion, which leads subjects to be seduced by the dazzle of the present, convinced that they can realize their individual and non-transferable desire for self-enrichment and fame. In succession we can observe a pop aesthetics, messages of self-help and a nationwide inducement of consumption. The latter involves a reading that functions like a prêt-à-porter accessible to the popular classes, effectively permitting the nation state to eschew any responsibility for developing a high-level public policy for egalitarian and democratic popular education.
Fashion; public and private; best-seller; self-help literature; pop literature