Debating World Literature

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Christopher Prendergast, Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson
Verso, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 353 pages
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In the continuing debates about the cultural dimensions of globalization, the question of "literature" has been something of a poor relation. This volume seeks to redress the balance. Its starting point is Goethe's idea of Weltliteratur, from which it travels out to various parts of the globe at different historical junctures. Its concerns include the legacy of Goethe's idea, variable understandings of the term "literature" itself, cross-cultural encounters (the contact of the oral and the written, the paradoxes of "exoticism"), the nature of "small literatures", and the cultural politics of literary genres (poetry and the novel). The underlying objective of the volume is to transcend the pieties and simplifications of polemic in a reach for the complexity embodied in the linking of the two terms "world" and "literature". Contributors: Benedict Anderson, Emily Apter, Stanley Corngold, Nicholas Dew, Simon Goldhill, Stephen Heath, Stephan Hoesel-Uhlig, Peter Madsen, Franco Moretti, Christopher Prendergast, Timothy J. Reiss, Bruce Clunies Ross, John Sturrock, Elisa Sampson Vera Tudela.

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The Directions of Goethes
Global Translatiff The Invention of Comparative
Literature Nationalism
Conjectures on World Literature
The Politics of Genre
Reading Practices
Pioneering World Folklore in
Ricardo Palmas Contextualization
The Making
Victor Segalen Abroad
Kafka and the Dialect of Minor Literature
The World of English Poetry
India in the Mirror of World Fiction
Notes on Contributors

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About the author (2004)

Christopher Prendergast is Professor of Modern French Literature at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of King's College Cambridge. He is the co-editor of World Reader, an anthology of world literature.

Benedict Anderson is Aaron L. Binenkorp Professor of International Studies Emeritus at Cornell University. He is editor of the journal Indonesia and author of Java in a Time of Revolution, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World and Imagined Communities.

Emily Apter is Professor of Comparative Literature and French at New York University. Her published works include The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature and Continental Drift: From National Characters to Subjects.

Stanley Corngold is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He is translator and editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Metamorphosis, author of Lambent Traces: Franz Kafka, Franz Kafka: The Necessity of Form, Complex Pleasure: Forms of Feeling in German Literature, The Fate of the Self: German Writers and French Theory, and Thomas Mann, 1875–1955. He is the recipient of Literary Paternity, Literary Friendship: Essays in Honor of Stanley Corngold.

Franco Moretti teaches English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World and Modern Epic, all from Verso.

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