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What Is World Literature?

Author: David Damrosch
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, [2018] ©2003
Series: Translation/Transnation, 5
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Electronic books
Material Type: Document, Government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Damrosch
ISBN: 9780691188645 0691188645
OCLC Number: 1076448004
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Frontmatter --
CONTENTS --
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS --
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS --
INTRODUCTION: Goethe Coins a Phrase --
PART ONE. CIRCULATION --
1. Gilgamesh’s Quest --
2. The Pope’s Blowgun --
3. From the Old World to the Whole World --
PART TWO. TRANSLATION --
4. Love in the Necropolis --
5. The Afterlife of Mechthild von Magdeburg --
6. Kafka Comes Home --
PART THREE. PRODUCTION --
7. English in the World --
8. Rigoberta Menchú in Print --
9. The Poisoned Book --
CONCLUSION: World Enough and Time --
BIBLIOGRAPHY --
INDEX
Series Title: Translation/Transnation, 5
Responsibility: David Damrosch.
More information:

Abstract:

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.

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