This essay argues that eighteenth-century literature had been globalized long before literary scholarship’s transnational turn, by translators as well as by readers encountering its texts in translation. Taking as an example Arabophone authors and translators of the nineteenth century and their engagement with eighteenth-century texts like Robinson Crusoe and Tristram Shandy, we see that they had posed similar questions to those we now consider, about the circulation of ideas, texts, and material goods in the context of intellectual Eurocentrism and empire. Treating them as translation theorists and commentators on literary histories, we can better understand the way that eighteenth century English literature and its forms—the novel in particular—circulated in the non-Anglophone world, as it did so in ways that might challenge our own understanding of literature’s “globalization.”


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pp. 127-131
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