What Is World Literature?

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 liWorld 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 Menchu 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.
What Is World Literature 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

  • Title: What Is World Literature?
  • Author: David Damrosch
  • ISBN: 9780691049861
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
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    About the Author

    David Damrosch

    A past president of the American Comparative Literature Association, David Damrosch has written widely on comparative and world literature from antiquity to the present His books include The Narrative Covenant Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature 1987 , We Scholars Changing the Culture of the University 1995 , What Is World Literature 2003 , The Buried Book The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh 2007 , and How to Read World Literature 2008 He is the founding general editor of the six volume Longman Anthology of World Literature 2004 and the editor of Teaching World Literature 2009 and co editor of The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature 2009 , The Routledge Companion to World Literature 2011 , and Xin fangxiang bijiao wenxue yu shijie wenxue duben New Directions A Reader of Comparative and World Literature , Peking U P 2010 He is presently completing a book entitled Comparing the Literatures What Every Comparatist Needs to Know, and starting a book on the role of global scripts in the formation of national literatures.

    815 Comment

    • Chanté said:
      Aug 21, 2018 - 20:27 PM

      I am actually going to give this text four stars for its readability. I spent my entire weekend reading it and actually feel like I understand the dilemmas that the comparitists face in the world of literature. I am still wrapping my brain around some of the concepts, overall it made for a truly educational read. The text actually touched on many, if not most, of the issues that I have contemplated as of late. Not recommended for the non-theory, non-literary nerd types.

    • Esra said:
      Aug 21, 2018 - 20:27 PM

      from Goethe to Said, good work to summarize relation between world literature, great piece on Rigoberta Menchu

    • Anne said:
      Aug 21, 2018 - 20:27 PM

      some good axiomatic parts in the Intro, and repeats in later chapters--esp. on Kafka and Rigoberta Menchu. Also, dealing with the realism of encountering more than we understand (or can read) is refreshing. Hard to draw paradigms, though, from his use of scholarship to support readings (e.g. in the Menchu part), or get a grip on how he sees genre as a force, which it seems to be. A lot of the chapters end cryptically, aphoristically. Hard to come up with a way, beyond summarizing and extracting, [...]

    • Asita said:
      Aug 21, 2018 - 20:27 PM

      very inspiring!

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