World Literature, World Culture

World Literature, World Culture

World Literature, World Culture

World Literature, World Culture

Excerpt

The concept of world literature is both old and new. It is old in the sense that it has “always” been used to designate literature from around the world, and that at least since the time of Goethe it has been used not only to specify a literary canon but also to engage in the ethical project of enlarging our literary horizons to include more than just a few national literatures. As Franco Moretti argues, however, the project outlined by Goethe has never been properly implemented. Only now are we beginning to see the contours of a new scholarly field dealing with world literature, and only recently have we begun to develop new methods, a fitting terminology and a new perspective on the world of literature. In that sense, world literature is an entirely new notion, and innovative investigations into its various modes, histories, institutions and aesthetics have increased considerably in number and variety within the last two decades.

If it is true that world literature is now developing into a renewed area of interest, the first question is why. An obvious answer is that the development is due to globalisation. However, this cannot be the whole truth, since globalisation is not an entirely new phenomenon. Over the centuries different waves of globalisation have swept over the globe, from the crusades of . . .

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