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Definiția și problematizările

World Literature
David Damrosch
Preliminarii pentru definiția WL

I take world literature to encompass all literary works

that circulate beyond their culture of origin, either in
translation or in their original language (...). In its most
expansive sense, world literature could include any
work that has ever reached beyond its home base (...) a
work only has an effective life as world literature
whenever, and wherever, it is actively present within a
literary system beyond that of its original culture.

Suma totală a Suma totală a

literaturilor operelor literare
naționale (valoroase)
Accepțiuni istorice ale operelor intrate
în sfera de interes a WL

Opere Ferestre spre

clasice alte culturi

One of the most exciting features of contemporary literary studies is the fact
that all periods as well as all places are up
for fresh examination and open to new configurations.
Strategies in translation, regarding the degree to which translators make a
text conform to the target culture
(Lawrence Venuti, The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation, 1995)


Works of world literature take on a knew life as they move into the world at large, and to
understand this new life we need to look closely at the ways the work becomes reframed
in its translations and in its new cultural contexts.
The definition of World Literature
• 1. World literature is an elliptical refraction of
national literatures.
• 2. World literature is writing that gains in
• 3. World literature is not a set canon of texts,
but a mode of reading: a form of detached
engagement with worlds beyond our own
place and time.
Hugh Lofting, Doctor Dolittle
To use translations means to accept the reality
that texts come to us mediated by existing frameworks of reception and
interpretation. We necessarily work in collaboration with others who have
shaped what we read and how we read it.

World literature is not an immense body of material that must somehow,

impossibly, be mastered; it is a mode of reading that can be experienced
intensively with
a few works just as effectively as it can be explored extensively
with a large number.
The World Literature Canon

Older major authors who have held their own or even

gained ground over the past years

Subaltern or contestatory writers in laguages less

COUNTERCANON commonly taught and in minor literatures within great-
power languages

Old minor authors who fade increasingly in the


Postcolonial studies are reproducing the hypercanonical bias of older Europe-based