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Literary and Cultural Circulation


José Luís Jobim

An important question concerning literary studies is the circulation of literary works beyond their place of origin. Many other aspects must also be taken into consideration, such as the asymmetric positioning of authors and their work in international circulation, which is conditioned by the relative position of languages and cultures in the global market. This volume focuses on literary and cultural circulation and includes essays that explore this topic through case studies, analysing works and authors from diverse literatures and cultures, and discussions of the theoretical issues surrounding circulation and all that it entails: temporality, place, method, material objects and concepts.

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7 J. J. Slauerhoff, Dutch Literature and World Literature (Theo D’haen)


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7    J. J. Slauerhoff, Dutch Literature and World Literature

The recent return of “world literature” to the center of literary studies has entailed an increased attention to non-European literature, but on the rebound has further marginalized Europe’s smaller literatures. My case in point is Dutch literature. I examine how one Dutch Modernist author, J. J. Slauerhoff, might be “made” into a world author.

Elsewhere (D’haen 2012a) I have written at length about how in literary studies the concept and practice of “world literature” have been the subject of a tremendous revival over the last two decades or so, with ground-breaking publications by, to name just some of the major actors, Sarah Lawall (1988, 1994, 2004), Pascale Casanova (1999, 2004), Franco Moretti (2000, 2003, 2005, 2006) and David Damrosch (2003, 2004, 2009).1 Elsewhere, too (D’haen 2014), I tried to demonstrate that world literature, which for most of its existence ever since its having been put into circulation by Goethe as Weltliteratur in 1827 had been effectively doubling as European literature, in its latest avatars, and especially in the major English-language and American-based multi-volume anthologies that serve the US undergraduate market, has come to embrace the literatures of the world. Indeed, whereas in earlier versions of these same anthologies it was primarily English, French and German literature, and to a somewhat lesser extent Italian and Spanish literature that set the tune as far as ← 143 | 144 → more contemporary literatures...

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