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Comparative Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies

edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek

Publication Year: 2003

Articles in this volume focus on theories and histories of comparative literature and the emerging field of comparative cultural studies.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Comparative Cultural Studies

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-xv

This collection of papers is the second volume of Books in Comparative Cultural Studies, a new series of books published by Purdue University Press. The new series follows the aims and objectives of and work published in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture: A WWWeb Journal, also published by Purdue at . The journal’s aims ...

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Language and Culture in African Postcolonial Literature

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pp. 1-10

Post-colonial literature is a synthesis of protest and imitation. It blends revolt and conciliation. This duality permeates its stratagem, its style, and its themes in a manner that is not always readily perceptible to critics. This has practical didactic implications for the contemporary literary endeavor in Africa. The central concern of this article is to assess the extent to which African protest ...

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The Goethean Concept of World Literature and Comparative Literature

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pp. 11-22

There is currently little agreement about the systematic localization or methodology of comparative literature. What is far less controversial is the description of the field of comparative literature as world literature. But what is world literature? The answer seems trivial: The literature of the entire world. Yet this entails certain problems, since today noone will be able to simply say, as Goethe could over ...

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Comparative Literature in India

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pp. 23-33

In this paper, I discuss an apriori location of comparative literature with regard to aspects of diversity and unity in India, a country of immense linguistic diversity and, thus, a country of many literatures. Based on history, ideology, and often on politics, scholars of literature argue either for a unity of Indian literature or for a diversity and distinctness of the literatures of India. Instead ...

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Interliterariness as a Concept in Comparative Literature

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pp. 34-44

The concept of interliterariness has a very short history and is used mainly in Central European literary scholarship. Proponents of the notion are indebted to Russian Formalists and Czech Structuralists; “literariness” as a forerunner of interliterariness has been coined in the Werkstätte of Roman Jakobson in 1921: “The object of literary scholarship is not literature but literariness, ...

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The Impact of Globalization and the New Media on the Notion of World Literature

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pp. 45-57

The notion of world literature is never static, as Yves Chevrel states: “la notion de Weltliteratur est sans cesse à réviser” (27). In this context, I would like to suggest that the contemporary situation of world literature should be discussed with regard to the phenomenon of globalization in a perspective of its social processes and the impact of new media from a systemic and empirical point of view. However, first I would like to elaborate briefly on “globalization” in the context of comparative ...

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The Culture of the Context:Comparative Literature Past and Future

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pp. 58-75

On the brink of the new millennium, as we look back over literary history and the recent past of comparative literature as an academic discipline, it seems timely to ask: What have we learned, in Mario Valdés’s words, about “literature in the context of the culture it represents”? How will those lessons shape literary histories in the next millennium? ...

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On Literariness: From Post-Structuralism to Systems Theory

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pp. 76-96

In his paper, “The Literary in Theory,” Jonathan Culler claims that although the problem of literariness is central to literary theory from Russian formalism to French structuralism, it appears that “the attempt to theorize . . . the distinctiveness of literature . . . hasn’t been the focus of theoretical activity for some time” and that questions which have become central to theory are far ...

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Comparative Literature and the Ideology of Metaphor, East and West

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pp. 97-110

Traditional confidence in the ability of conceptual thinking to control the working of rhetorical figures started to receive serious challenges in the nineteenth century. Nietzsche pointed out that thinking is always and inseparably tied to the rhetorical devices that are part and parcel of language itself. Not only does the philosophical discourse lack epistemological superiority over other kinds of discourse, it is self-deluding for us to think that any kind ...

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Comparative Literature in Slovenia

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pp. 111-129

The first and foremost problem of any (scholarly) endeavor in Slovenia is the size of the country. It is inhabited by only two million people whose lives pass by almost unnoticed by other larger nations. This fact per force limits the scope and horizon of its professional endeavors when compared with other European countries. Consequently, any scholarly activity undertaken by such a small nation is left to oscillate or arbitrate between potentially ...

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Comparative Literature in the United States

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pp. 130-141

In this paper, I present an updated version of my observations with regard to the history and current situation of the discipline of comparative literature in the United States I published in the collected volume, Comparative Literature Now: Theories and Practice / La Littérature comparée à l’heure actuelle. Théories et réalisations (see Mourão). The 1993 “Bernheimer Report” of the ACLA: American Comparative Literature Association made very clear that the ...

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Comparative Literature and Cultural Identity

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pp. 142-151

The problem of cultural identity involves the question of the self and of culture. In other words, this means reflecting on the essence of culture itself and the implication that there is a reasonable motive of self-questioning. In turn, we may also ask whether the self-questioning is motivated in the problematic, uncertain, or insufficiently reflected idea of our selves or in a desire to analytically reaffirm the fragility of culture. From the viewpoint of literary ...

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Theory, Period Styles, and Comparative Literature as Discipline

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pp. 152-182

It is sometimes said that the origins of comparative literature are tied to debates concerning the renewal of the notion of literature, tied together because such theoretical debates on literariness, text, aesthetics, etc., and theoretical debates in general which still affect us, appear to originate with the Jena-Berlin school of Romanticism (the first phase), the approximate period from which the origins of comparative literature emanate as well. The question which looms ...

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Popular and Highbrow Literature:A Comparative View

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pp. 183-205

Music historians record that when ardent admirers mobbed Verdi at the opening of one of his operas, brown-nosing him that it was sublime, the maestro said only, “Fine. What was the ticket sale?” Seconded by no less a champion of literary sense and sensibility than Doctor Johnson, famed for quipping that no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money, Verdi’s ...

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Comparative Literature as Textual Anthropology

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pp. 206-215

The Tea Root Lion also illustrates the universal use of animal signs for charting the experience of the world: “Die Schlechten fürchten deine Klaue./ Die Guten freuen sich deiner Grazie./ Derlei/ Hörte ich gern/ Von meinem Vers” (1967, 997). At first glance, the Tea Root Lion may appear to domesticate the consternation embodied in the earlier animal figures but in its own way this ...

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Analyzing East/West Power Politics in Comparative Cultural Studies

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pp. 216-234

In the post-Cold War thought of Samuel Huntington, culture has supplanted ideology as the shaping force of global politics (“Erosion” 39). Unlike the postmodern culturalist, who celebrates “difference” as an unequivocal virtue, Huntington’s cultural politics is marked by multipolar and multicivilizational strife (Clash 21). Nevertheless he partakes in the cultural imperative that has become almost synonymous with postmodernism in foreign ...

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From Comparative Literature Today Toward Comparative Cultural Studies

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pp. 235-267

Historically, the comparative perspective and method has proven itself indispensable in many disciplines and established itself, accordingly, intellectually as well as institutionally. For example, in a review of the George M. Fredrickson’s The Comparative Imagination: On the History of Racism, Nationalism, and Social Movements (1997), the reviewer argues that the comparative perspective “give[s] us a good opportunity for assessing how comparative history ...

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Comparative Literature in China

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pp. 268-283

On the landscape of modern Chinese literary scholarship, comparative literature is perhaps one of the most versatile and active fields of study. As an academic discipline and a mode of intellectual inquiry and scholarly production, comparative literature was imported to China from the West, via Japan, in the early twentieth century. At a time of major intellectual and social shifts of the country and when many Chinese writers, artists, as well ...

Toward Comparative Cultural Studies: A Selected Bibliography of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (Theories, Methods, Histories, 1835 to 2002)

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pp. 285-342


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pp. 343-348


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pp. 349-356

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490168
E-ISBN-10: 1612490166
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557532909
Print-ISBN-10: 1557532907

Page Count: 380
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Comparative Cultural Studies