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Contextualizing World Literature

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Edited By Jean Bessière and Gerald Gillespie

This book revisits the notion of World Literature and its applications in Comparative Literature. It suggests the notion not as a means to sift out international paradigms for reading literatures, but as a set of guidelines for the construction of interlocking and/or reciprocally illuminating multilingual literary clusters. These ensembles are of very diverse shapes: the world, a region, a country, a language block, a network of cross-cultural «interferences» – while the so-called minor literatures invite to question the use of these ensembles. Within this frame, fourteen essays respond to the basic paradox of World Literature: how may specific methodological and critical outlooks allow expression of the universal? The answers to this question can be arranged in three groups: 1. Recognition of the need to break loose from European or Western critical perspectives; 2. Presentation of macro- and microcosmic dimensions connectedness and its processes; 3. Definitions of the methodological efforts and hermeneutic orientations to be applied.
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Contributors/Contributeurs

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Lisa Block de Behar is Professor of Analysis of Communication and Comparative Aesthetics at the Universidad de la República, Montevideo. She authored Derroteros literarios en tierras orientales (in press), Borges and the Passion of an Endless Quotation (2014), En clave de be. Borges, Bioy, Blanqui y las leyendas del nombre (2011), Medios, pantallas y otros lugares comunes. Sobre cambios y intercambios verbales y visuales (2009), Jules Laforgue ou les métaphores du déplacement (2004), Borges ou les gestes d’un voyant aveugle (1998), A Rhetoric of Silence and Other Selected Writings (1995). She edited books about Haroldo de Campos, cinema and totalitarism, Deconstruction, literary studies and a selection of Emir Rodriguez Monegal’s works. She holds the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award.

Jean Bessière is a Professor emeritus in Comparative Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. He was ICLA President from 1997 to 2000. He has extensively lectured abroad. He co-edited two ICLA books (Théorie littéraire: Problèmes et perspectives; Histoire des poétiques) and recently published Le Roman ou la problématicité du monde (2010), Questionner le roman (2012), Inactualité et originalité de la littérature française contemporaine (2014).

Ipshita Chanda teaches Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University. She has published in the areas of genre theory (Tracing the Charit as Genre, 2003), feminist studies (Packaging Freedom: Feminism and Popular Culture, 2002); Shaping the Discourse: Translation of Women’s Writings from Bengali Periodicals 1864-1947 (2013), reception studies (Reception of the...

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