What Is World Literature?

Master's in World Literature
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http://lushyne.com/wp-content/4471-come-controllare-liphone.php The emergence of a literature of this type would not mean the disappearance of national literatures but their entrance in a space and time in which they would interact with each other, forming the essence of modernity. It must be said that in the new space he defends, translations play a vital role. When he takes the first of these perspectives, he does so led by the spirit of promoting German language and literature, which had not yet been able to enrol in a context of strong national identity.

Thus, the dissemination of foreign literary works throughout Europe could be arbitrated through German, creating a transnational literature that could build understanding and harmony among the peoples of Europe. Following this reasoning, in his opinion, as translation had considerably opened the German cultural space to foreign cultural spaces, that culture could become the quintessential exchange market for Weltliteratur. This perspective implies that in his poetics, translation is considered an essential task, an inherent part of the literature of a nation.

While it seems that Goethe did not advocate, at least explicitly, for this selective process, the fact is that the concept of universal literature quickly identified itself with this construction of the canon. To begin with, there was a fundamental restriction when it came to build what were supposed to be universal literature histories, because in most cases they only paid attention to European literatures more importantly, only to a few of them.

It should be pointed out that these supposedly universal histories of literature were written at the same time as different national literary histories began to proliferate, so they were in general excessively biased towards the literature of the country in which they occurred, which was in line with the nation-building process that was taking place throughout Europe.

In the Romantic era we witnessed numerous attempts to build national identity through a claim of the legitimacy of its literary past.

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On the other hand, along the 19 th century the interpretation of world literature as the canon of great masterpieces also began to emerge, limited again to European literature. Simultaneously with the expansion of the notion of universal literature, we witness the birth of the discipline of Comparative Literature. It was becoming increasingly obvious that the linguistic attributes comparatists were supposed to have were hardly obtainable, especially so in the case of non-specialist readers. As a result numerous anthologies made up by translations began to appear, either of world literature or of a specific literature genre mainly poetry.

Jacob Emery reviews David Damrosch's World Literature in Theory - Asymptote

Without resorting to translation, access to world literature inevitably becomes highly restricted, as it is completely severed by the linguistic diversity that should characterize the works included, but furthermore, according to Damrosch, it is the very fact that the translation and the original text can be subjected to an aesthetic transformation what is in itself an inherent feature of the literary fact:.

Literary language is thus language that either gains or loses in translation, in contrast to non-literary language, which typically does neither.

Faculty of Humanities

Take course on. View PDF Flyer. Kalidasa, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection , play. Based at Stockholm University, this research programme will run from until with the generous support of The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences. The programme has four sub-groups with the following headings:. Designed by.

The balance of credit and loss remains a distinguishing mark of national versus world literature: literature stays within its national or regional tradition when it usually loses in translation, whereas works become world literature when they gain on balance in translation, stylistic losses offset by an expansion in depth as they increase their range Damrosch Nevertheless, it should also be noted that important contemporary voices have warned against the negative consequences of providing students access to world literature only through translations, as this can have a simplifying and homogenizing effect, blurring the differences between languages, literatures and cultures and reducing every literary expressions to just one literature written in the target language.

Gayatri Spivak discusses the ideological implications of translating the literature of the Third World to hegemonic languages.

From her point of view, the asymmetrical relations of power in a post-colonial context often result in the activation of colonising translation practices and the construction of biased images of the ex-colonised culture as a mimetic and lower form of former colonizers. When translation becomes necessary, Spivak proposes a translation strategy based on a positive or strategic essentialism that requires the translator to have an intimate knowledge of the colonised language, history and culture.

Is it difficult to write in world literature?

Here you can find out about the emergence and development of the world literature and if it is easy for students to cope with academic papers on it. World literature is sometimes used to refer to the sum total of the world's national literatures, but usually it refers to the circulation of works into the wider world.

Spivak shows that translations often appropriate the texts of other cultures, imposing a hegemonic vision of the translated texts and often disregarding the specific cultural idiosyncrasies of communities that share only some common features. On the other hand, in a marketplace calibrated to supply genre fiction in English, the literary achievements of far-flung times and places may find a place only insofar as they have been reduced to palatably vague suggestions of the exotic, presented in bite-size pieces and neutering translations—the literary equivalent of a food court, to use a comparison that comes up several times in the new anthology World Literature in Theory.

Does the success of world literature reassure us that quality sells, or does it ruefully bear witness to the humanities selling out? For all its aspirations to noble cosmopolitanism, world literature is haunted by parallel rubrics like the World Cup, which functions not least as a stage for nationalisms, and the world music and international fast foods that cater to weak-stomached first-world clienteles.

Literatures as World Literature

As the volume's editor quips, "The study of world literature can very readily become culturally deracinated, philologically bankrupt, and ideologically complicit with the worst tendencies of global capitalism. Other than that, we're in good shape. He directs Harvard University's Institute for World Literature, whose website positions itself messianically as a necessary response to the "political, economic, and religious forces sweeping the globe. In this sense, its motives are those of international environmental movements, alliances of protectionist parties in the EU, and other efforts to adapt to or mitigate the challenges of a humanity exerting itself on a planetary scale.

World literature responds to the forces of globalization by identifying with them.

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Its locus classicus , cited in a dozen of this volume's thirty-five essays, is Goethe's exhortation that "the epoch of World-literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach. From this point of view, the foremost aim of literary study is to describe how cultural phenomena are lost, recovered, and transformed across a planetary entanglement that has always existed but only now insistently unfurls itself for the benefit of scholars—a splendid divulgement of the world, threatening only to the faint-hearted and regretted only by curmudgeons.

The extraordinary thing about World Literature in Theory is the ferment of scholarly activity it represents. Almost every essay was written in the last fifteen years. The rubric "World Literature in an Age of Globalization" covers a set of influential programmatic statements, notably Franco Moretti's brief for statistical methods in the humanities and Pascale Casanova's idea of a "republic of world letters," centered on cosmopolitan capitals that confer recognition on literary works from the periphery.

World Lite

All the contributions take place within the purview of the Western academy, although several—notably Revathi Krishnaswamy's "Toward World Literary Knowledges"—point out concepts that arose independently of it. As a whole, the collection is a snapshot of activity by academic advocates of globalizing trends in literature, at a time when everyone agrees these forces exist but no one knows exactly what they mean for literary culture or humanistic scholarship.

In the Communist Manifesto , Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels characterize world literature Weltliteratur as resulting from the historical cruelties that nonetheless, in the ultimate calculus, progress towards a united humanity and a rational global economy—the cultural equivalent, as Zhang Longxi points out, of the political slogan, "Workers of all countries, unite!

It compels all nations, on pain of extinction [ In a word, it creates a world after its own image. Perhaps most profoundly, the Manifesto implies that scholars are not so much a vigorous vanguard "hastening the approach" of a global epoch, as Goethe would have it, as hapless observers of historical forces that play themselves out regardless of who cheers and who objects.

From this perspective, earnest debates over the future of the field are a kind of magical thinking—like the child who believes that his rage causes a thunderstorm or the neurotic who believes that an airplane safely reaches its destination because she is wearing a lucky pair of socks—that provides comfort in an uncertain, precarious situation about which nothing can be done. World literature provides effective paradigms for describing globalized culture, but it also provides a sense of intellectual mastery over a progress towards unknown outcomes that threaten professorial careers and academic institutions.

Indeed, it participates in that process: quite apart from its intellectual merits, one suspects that the approaches gathered under the term "world literature" have gained so much traction in the contemporary university not least because they can be taken to justify trends that are happening anyway. World literature provides intellectual cover for the dissolution of national language and literature programs in favor of larger, more efficient catch-all departments with less administrative overhead and literature taught largely in translation.

In this sense, world literature is both diagnostic and symptomatic of prevailing trends in the academy. Despite the essential interest of the subject for anyone who is interested in verbal culture, there is no doubt that the collection is meant above all for "students and scholars," as we read on the back jacket.

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In other words, world literature's appeal to the global or the universal variously qualified as "alternative modes of universality" or a "strategic bargain with universalism" takes place primarily in the microcosm of the universe that is the university. However, for all its myths of aloof intellectualism, the ivory tower is itself a mirror of prevailing economic currents.

As a teaching anthology, World Literature in Theory is a tool of the professionalization process whereby, as Damrosch notes, large research institutions receive "raw material—undergraduates—produced by the colonies, they bring them to the metropolitan center for reprocessing, and they send them back out to the colonies, value-added, to teach the undergraduates. World literature's geography reiterates the map of global markets, which discover raw materials in agricultural and extraction regions and sell them, refined by translation and exegesis, to industrialized populations.