What difference does it make to map globalization along the axis of time rather than the axis of space? This essay tests that possibility, focusing on pre-national time and exploring it through a genre-based paradigm, inspired by Adorno and especially Lukacs. Adorno and Lukacs see genres as diachronic forms giving each individual work a backward as well as a forward extension. The ancient epic and the modern novel continually interact and must be read in tandem if literature is to be seen as a cumulative, global phenomenon. James's novels are global in just this way: looking back to The Odyssey and forward to Erza Pound's Cantos.