Description : World literature was long defined in North America as an established canon of European masterpieces, but an emerging global perspective has challenged both this European focus and the very category of "the masterpiece." The first book to look broadly at the contemporary scope and purposes of world literature, What Is World Literature? probes the uses and abuses of world literature in a rapidly changing world. In case studies ranging from the Sumerians to the Aztecs and from medieval mysticism to postmodern metafiction, David Damrosch looks at the ways works change as they move from national to global contexts. Presenting world literature not as a canon of texts but as a mode of circulation and of reading, Damrosch argues that world literature is work that gains in translation. When it is effectively presented, a work of world literature moves into an elliptical space created between the source and receiving cultures, shaped by both but circumscribed by neither alone. Established classics and new discoveries alike participate in this mode of circulation, but they can be seriously mishandled in the process. From the rediscovered Epic of Gilgamesh in the nineteenth century to Rigoberta Menchú's writing today, foreign works have often been distorted by the immediate needs of their own editors and translators. Eloquently written, argued largely by example, and replete with insightful close readings, this book is both an essay in definition and a series of cautionary tales.
Description : 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.
Description : This volume engages critically with the recent and ongoing consolidation of "world literature" as a paradigm of study. On the basis of an extended, active, and ultimately more literary sense of what it means to institute world literature, it views processes of institutionalization not as limitations, but as challenges to understand how literature may simultaneously function as an enabling and exclusionary world of its own. It starts from the observation that literature is never simply a given, but is always performatively and materially instituted by translators, publishers, academies and academics, critics, and readers, as well as authors themselves. This volume therefore substantiates, refines, as well as interrogates current approaches to world literature, such as those developed by David Damrosch, Pascale Casanova, and Emily Apter. Sections focus on the poetics of writers themselves, market dynamics, postcolonial negotiations of discrete archives of literature, and translation, engaging a range of related disciplines. The chapters contribute to a fresh understanding of how singular literary works become inserted in transnational systems and, conversely, how transnational and institutional dimensions of literature are inflected in literary works. Focusing its methodological and theoretical inquiries on a broad archive of texts spanning the triangle Europe-Latin America-Africa, the volume unsettles North America as the self-evident vantage of recent world literature debates. Because of the volume’s focus on dialogues between world literature and fields such as postcolonial studies, translation studies, book history, and transnational studies, it will be of interest to scholars and students in a range of areas.
Description : World Literature in Theory provides a definitive exploration of the pressing questions facing those studying world literature today. Coverage is split into four parts which examine the origins and seminal formulations of world literature, world literature in the age of globalization, contemporary debates on world literature, and localized versions of world literature Contains more than 30 important theoretical essays by the most influential scholars, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Hugo Meltzl, Edward Said, Franco Moretti, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gayatri Spivak Includes substantive introductions to each essay, as well as an annotated bibliography for further reading Allows students to understand, articulate, and debate the most important issues in this rapidly changing field of study
Description : The new edition of this highly popular guide, How to Read World Literature, addresses the unique challenges and joys faced when approaching the literature of other cultures and eras. Fully revised to address important developments in World Literature, and generously expanded with new material, this second edition covers a wide variety of genres – from lyric and epic poetry to drama and prose fiction – and discusses how each form has been used in different eras and cultures. An ideal introduction for those new to the study of World Literature, as well as beginners to ancient and foreign literature, this book offers a variety of "modes of entry" to reading these texts. The author, a leading authority in the field, draws on years of teaching experience to provide readers with ways of thinking creatively and systematically about key issues, such as reading across time and cultures, reading works in translation, emerging global perspectives, postcolonialism, orality and literacy, and more. Accessible and enlightening, offers readers the tools to navigate works as varied as Homer, Sophocles, Kalidasa, Du Fu, Dante, Murasaki, Moliere, Kafka, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott Fully revised and expanded to reflect the changing face of the study of World Literature, especially in the English-speaking world Now includes more major authors featured in the undergraduate World Literature syllabus covered within a fuller critical context Features an entirely new chapter on the relationship between World Literature and postcolonial literature How to Read World Literature, Second Edition is an excellent text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in World Literature. It is also a fascinating and informative read for all readers with an interest in foreign and ancient literature and the history of civilization.
Description : While crime fiction is one of the most widespread of all literary genres, this is the first book to treat it in its full global is the first book to treat crime fiction in its full global and plurilingual dimensions, taking the genre seriously as a participant in the international sphere of world literature. In a wide-ranging panorama of the genre, twenty critics discuss crime fiction from Bulgaria, China, Israel, Mexico, Scandinavia, Kenya, Catalonia, and Tibet, among other locales. By bringing crime fiction into the sphere of world literature, Crime Fiction as World Literature gives new insights not only into the genre itself but also into the transnational flow of literature in the globalized mediascape of contemporary popular culture.
Description : As teachers and readers expand the canon of world literature to include writers whose voices traditionally have been silenced by the dominant culture, fundamental questions arise. What do we mean by "world"? What constitutes "literature"? Who should decide? Reading World Literature is a cumulative study of the concept and evolving practices of "world literature." Sarah Lawall opens the book with a substantial introduction to the overall topic. Twelve original essays by distinguished specialists run the gamut from close readings of specific texts to problems of translation theory and reader response. The sequence of essays develops from re-examinations of traditional canonical pieces through explorations of less familiar works to discussions of reading itself as a "literacy" dependent on worldview. Reading World Literature will open challenging new vistas for a wide audience in the humanities, from traditionalists to avant-garde specialists in literary theory, cultural studies, and area studies.
Description : For better or worse, America lives in the age of “worlded” literature. Not the world literature of nations and nationalities considered from most powerful and wealthy to the least. And not the world literature found with a map. Rather, the worlded literature of individuals crossing borders, mixing stories, and speaking in dialect. Where translation struggles to be effective and background is itself another story. The “worlded” literature of the multinational corporate publishing industry where the global market is all. The essays in this collection, from some of the most distinguished figures in American studies and literature, explore what it means to consider American literature as world literature.
Description : Johann Wolfgang von Goethe introduced the concept of Weltliteratur in 1827 to describe the growing availability of texts from other nations. Although the term "World Literature" is widely used today, there is little agreement on what it means and even less awareness of its evolution. In this wide-ranging work, John Pizer traces the concept of Weltliteratur in Germany beginning with Goethe and continuing through Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels to the present as he explores its importation into the United States in the 1830s and the teaching of World Literature in U.S. classrooms since the early twentieth century. Pizer demonstrates the concept's ongoing viability through an in-depth reading of the contemporary Syrian-German transnational novelist Rafik Schami. He also provides a clear methodology for World Literature courses in the twenty-first century. Pizer argues persuasively that Weltliteratur can provide cohesion to the study of World Literature today. In his view, traditional "World Lit" classes are limited by their focus on the universal elements of literature. A course based on Weltliteratur, however, promotes a more thorough understanding of literature as a dialectic between the universal and the particular. In a practical guide to teaching World Literature by employing Goethe's paradigm, he explains how to help students navigate between the extremes of homogenization on the one hand and exoticism on the other, learning both what cultures share and what distinguishes them. Everyone who teaches World Literature will want to read this stimulating book. In addition, anyone interested in the development of the concept from its German roots to its American fruition will find The Idea of World Literature immensely rewarding.