Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective

Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective

Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective

Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective

Excerpt

Although the essays in this volume may be considered independent contributions, it should be noted that they have been motivated by an interest, common to all the contributors, in the problems and methods the student of comparative literature may encounter. In each essay, the author has undertaken to indicate certain objectives and to characterize certain procedures which he considers essential in approaching his particular problem; and in so doing, he has tried to illustrate theoretical statements by including examples drawn from his own reading and research. As a result these essays may be of considerable assistance in helping the student, whatever his special interests, to find his way in this broad area of study.

Comparative literature is, relatively speaking, a young discipline in this country and accordingly its practitioners are still keenly interested in fixing its objectives and defining its scope. Professor Remak turns his attention to these two aspects and gives us a reasoned interpretation of his own, set against other definitions which are included as background. He has appended to his argument an annotated list of historical and critical studies, bibliographies, and similar reference works, which a student of comparative literature will find indispensable.

Professor Seeber supplements the opening essay by considering in detail certain problems of terminology which all students of comparative literature must face if they hope to speak a language intelligible to one another and to the pub-

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