This remarkably broad and informative book offers an introduction to and overview of World Literature. Tracing the term from its earliest roots and situating it within a number of relevant contexts from postcolonialism to postmodernism, Theo D’haen examines:
- the return of the term "world literature" and its changing meaning
- Goethe’s concept of Weltliteratur and how this relates to current debates
- theories and theorists who have had an impact on world literature
- non-canonical and less-known literatures from around the globe
- the possibility and implications of a definition of world literature.
This book is the ideal guide to an increasingly popular and important term in literary studies. It is accessible and engaging and will be invaluable to students of world literature, comparative literature, translation and postcolonial studies and anyone with an interest in these or related topics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: the (Re)Turn of "World Literature" 2. Goethe’s "Weltliteratur" and the "Humanist" Ideal 3. World Literature and Comparative Literature 4. World Literature as an American Pedagogical Construct 5. World Literature and the Literatures of the World 6. World Literature in the Literary Marketplace 7. World Literature and Translation 8. World Literature, (Post)Modernism and (Post)Colonialism 9. Conclusion: The Struggle for World Literature?
Theo D’haen is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at K.U. Leuven University, Belgium and has also worked in Holland, France, and America. He is Editor-in-Chief of the European Review, and President of FILLM (Fédération Internationale de Langues et Littératures Modernes) 2008-2012.