Literary studies still lack an extensive comparative analysis of different kinds of literature, including ancient and non-Western. How Literary Worlds Are Shaped. A Comparative Poetics of Literary Imagination aims to provide such a study. Literature, it claims, is based on individual and shared human imagination, which creates literary worlds that blend the real and the fantastic, mimesis and genre, often modulated by different kinds of unreliability. The main building blocks of literary worlds are their oral, visual and written modes and three themes: challenge, perception and relation. They are blended and inflected in different ways by combinations of narratives and figures, indirection, thwarted aspirations, meta-usages, hypothetical action as well as hierarchies and blends of genres and text types. Moreover, literary worlds are not only constructed by humans but also shape their lives and reinforce their sense of wonder. Finally, ten reasons are given in order to show how this comparative view can be of use in literary studies. In sum, How Literary Worlds Are Shaped is the first study to present a wide-ranging and detailed comparative account of the makings of literary worlds.
Postcolonial studies took shape in response to the nationalist and decolonization movements of the twentieth century. Today, a resurgent interest in world literature reflects an increased awareness of globalization. These twin projects are torn between a criticism that finds in the text the trace of capitalist modernity and one that accounts for the revolutionary potential of literature to challenge our global present. Postcolonialism After World Literature exposes what is at stake in this critical choice through a line of philosophical enquiry – Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Rancière – that poses an alternative to the materialist strand of world literary criticism pioneered by Pascale Casanova and Franco Moretti. Engaging with these theorists and others, Lorna Burns contests world-systems theory as the basis for thinking about contemporary postcolonial and world literatures, and proposes a renewed framework that promotes literature's capacity to provoke dissent; to imagine new forms of belonging and relation for both national and world citizens; and to stage the shared equality of all. Moving between theory and the novels of Roberto Bolaño, J. M. Coetzee, Kamel Daoud, Dany Laferrière, Pauline Melville, Arundhati Roy and Kamila Shamsie, Postcolonialism After World Literature presents the case for rethinking world literature in light of the legacies of postcolonialism, and for reshaping postcolonial studies in an era of world literature. Lorna Burns is Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of St Andrews, UK. She is the author of Contemporary Caribbean Writing and Deleuze (Bloomsbury, 2012).
On the problems of translation in literary study. Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability argues for a rethinking of comparative literature focusing on the problems that emerge when large-scale paradigms of literary studies ignore the politics of the “Untranslatable”—the realm of those words that are continually retranslated, mistranslated, transferred from language to language, or especially resistant to substitution. In the place of “World Literature”—a dominant paradigm in the humanities, one grounded in market-driven notions of readability and universal appeal—Apter proposes a plurality of “world literatures” oriented around philosophical concepts and geopolitical pressure points. The history and theory of the language that constructs World Literature is critically examined with a special focus on Weltliteratur, literary world systems, narrative ecosystems, language borders and checkpoints, theologies of translation, and planetary devolution in a book set to revolutionize the discipline of comparative literature.
Francophone Literature as World Literature examines French-language works from a range of global traditions and shows how these literary practices draw individuals, communities, and their cultures and idioms into a planetary web of tension and cross-fertilization. The Francophone corpus under scrutiny here comes about in the evolving, markedly relational context provided by these processes and their developments during and after the French empire. The 15 chapters of this collection delve into key aspects, moments, and sites of the literature flourishing throughout the francosphere after World War II and especially since the 1980s, from the French Hexagon to the Caribbean and India, and from Québec to the Maghreb and Romania. Understood and practiced as World Literature, Francophone literature claims--with particular force in the wake of the littérature-monde debate--its place in a more democratic world republic of letters, where writers, critics, publishers, and audiences are no longer beholden to traditional centers of cultural authority.
World Literature is an increasingly influential subject in literary studies, which has led to the re-framing of contemporary ideas of ‘national literatures’, language and translation. World Literature: A Reader brings together thirty essential readings which display the theoretical foundations of the subject, as well as showing its conceptual development over a two hundred year period. The book features: an illuminating introduction to the subject, with suggested reading paths to help readers navigate through the materials texts exploring key themes such as globalization, cosmopolitanism, post/trans-nationalism, and translation and nationalism writings by major figures including J. W. Goethe, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Longxi Zhao, David Damrosch, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Pascale Casanova and Milan Kundera. The early explorations of the meaning of ‘Weltliteratur’ are introduced, while twenty-first century interpretations by leading scholars today show the latest critical developments in the field. The editors offer readers the ideal introduction to the theories and debates surrounding the impact of this crucial area on the modern literary landscape.
Popular American essayist, novelist, and journalist CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER (1829-1900) was renowned for the warmth and intimacy of his writing, which encompassed travelogue, biography and autobiography, fiction, and more, and influenced entire generations of his fellow writers. Here, the prolific writer turned editor for his final grand work, a splendid survey of global literature, classic and modern, and it's not too much to suggest that if his friend and colleague Mark Twain-who stole Warner's quip about how "everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it"-had assembled this set, it would still be hailed today as one of the great achievements of the book world. Volume 42 is Part One of a dictionary of authors-from Alexis Aar to Juvenal-that serves as a handy, condensed reference to the authors quoted in the first 40 volumes, as well as a guide to thousands more authors whose works are notable but not featured in this set.