Abstract

Abstract:

Based on Birus’ suggestion to understand Goethe as an “initiator of discursive practices”, the present study reconsiders the Goethean comments on World Literature (“Weltliteratur”) not in terms of a concept but rather in terms of a discourse. The initial point is the observation that Goethe’s comments on World literature share in two different notions of culture relevant at the time, namely culture as a technique of comparison that implies a competent and sober handling of cultural difference, as well as culture as ultimate foundation of a group that allows for enthusiastic reference on a community. By operating a combination of competence for comparison and enthusiasm, without however referring to a concrete community, Goethe’s comments constitute a new possibility of speech, the discourse of World literature.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-026X
Print ISSN
0037-1939
Pages
pp. 133-147
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-06
Open Access
No
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