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Cross-Cultural Encounters between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking Worlds

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Edited By Christine Reynier

The Mediterranean world has long had strong cultural links to Great Britain as well as to the United States. Through the analysis of artistic objects and critical writings that crystallise this encounter, the essays in this volume demonstrate the variety and complexity of the connections between two geographical zones and two or more cultures.
Mediterranean cultures are shown to haunt American and British culture and artistic productions. The relation between British and American literature and art on the one hand, and Mediterranean arts on the other goes beyond the mere inscription of British and American culture in a Mediterranean tradition. British and American culture and art come out as unearthing a wide variety of Mediterranean artistic forms, renewing and transforming them.
This collection shows how lively the encounter between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking worlds still is. It highlights how much English as well as American culture and art owe today to the Mediterranean ones; how, mainly in the fields of literature and art, the two civilisations have never discontinued the dialogue they adumbrated centuries ago.

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MARTIN ELSKY - Erich Auerbach and Translatio Studii:The German Dante and the Transmissionof the Catholic Mediterranean to the English-Speaking World - 191

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MARTIN ELSKY Erich Auerbach and Translatio Studii: The German Dante and the Transmission of the Catholic Mediterranean to the English-Speaking World123 Underlying much of the critical output of Erich Auerbach is a series of translationes studii from the Mediterranean to Germany and from there to the English-speaking world through the translation of his master work, Mimesis. This internationalism has to do with Auerbach’s migrations and his vaunted cosmopolitanism,124 but it can also be understood in the lar- ger terms of what Pascale Casanova describes as revolutions in ‘the World Republic of Letters’. Casanova portrays the world literary system as a series of rivalries between geographies with more or less literary prestige and influence. These can be rivalries between countries and cit- ies for dominance as international literary-cultural centers, and between such centers and their outlying national or regional peripheries. Compet- ing nations may make rival claims as the setters of super-national, uni- versal standards in matters of language, style, and taste. Peripheries may challenge the domination of such centers on behalf of their own local- regional-national importance, or they may adopt the standards of such transnational centers in an attempt to transcend their local or parochial status, thus creating an international, universalist space within a national or local geography. Casanova’s literary geography accounts not only for literary produc- tion, but also for the role of critics and scholars in shaping that geogra- phy. Her concept of a world literary system goes far to illuminate Auer- bach’s critical corpus from...

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