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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'World literature': the value of an unstable category
Author:Chapman, MichaelISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:The English Academy Review
Volume:24
Issue:1
Pages:3-22
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
world
Subjects:literature
postcolonialism
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17535360712331393431
Abstract:What is world literature? What distinguishes world literature as object (a list, a syllabus of treasures) from world literature as concept, in which the circulation of texts beyond the original culture is determined not simply by textual immanence, but also by reader reception and reader demand? These questions are addressed in this article. It argues that if no definitive answer is possible, the pursuit of these questions raises subsidiary questions (Whose world? Whose literature?) that suggest both differences and similarities between 'transnational' and 'postcolonial' considerations of literary culture. In conclusion, the author turns the 'world window' to a South African perspective, emphasizing that as a field of study, world literature needs a systematic mapping, a curriculum design, more manageable than offered by arbitrary book lists. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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