A Companion to Comparative Literature by Ali Behdad, Dominic Thomas

By Ali Behdad, Dominic Thomas

A spouse to Comparative Literature provides a set of greater than thirty unique essays from verified and rising students, which discover the background, present country, and way forward for comparative literature.
• good points over thirty unique essays from top foreign members
• presents a serious evaluation of the prestige of literary and cross-cultural inquiry
• Addresses the heritage, present country, and way forward for comparative literature
• Chapters deal with such subject matters because the dating among translation and transnationalism, literary idea and rising media, the way forward for nationwide literatures in an period of globalization, gender and cultural formation throughout time, East-West cultural encounters, postcolonial and diaspora stories, and different experimental ways to literature and tradition.

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Ten year reports on the discipline, I addressed the nature of this Association’s recurring series of reports as embodying a logic of indiscipline that afflicts not only this field of study but also, more generally, the humanities (Ferris). I fully intended not to return to the subject since it seemed to me then that this logic had become so entrenched that Comparative Literature was no longer capable of discerning the questions posed by its critical practice. ’s habit of examining the state of “discipline” could only repeat the same result like a most forlorn Odysseus destined to embark every ten years or so on a new adventure to burn some other Troy into the past one more time.

As Natalie Melas has recalled for us, Lane Cooper pointed out this confusion between method and object in the 1920s and suggested resolving this question by adopting the name Comparative Study of Literature (Melas, 2007: p. 1; Cooper, 1942: p. ) but rather, his remarks locate a methodological basis for this field in the task of comparing. It is this task that Comparative Literature can offer for reflection in a moment that invites the Why Compare? ” A question whose answer is not an invitation to endless analogy nor is it the occasion for the bemused answer that comparatists don’t really compare anymore (to be bemused here is to confuse specific acts of comparison belonging to a particular time in the history of Comparative Literature with a task whose significance is more general than this field).

Auerbach, 2003: p. 43; my emphasis) Hence his startling observations toward the end of the book: The more numerous, varied, and simple the people are who appear as subjects of such random moments [as depicted by modern writers like Woolf], the more effectively must what they have in common shine forth. In this unprejudiced and exploratory type of representation we cannot but see to what an extent – below the surface conflicts – the differences between men’s ways of life and forms of thought have already lessened.

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