From Comparison to World Literature by Longxi Zhang

By Longxi Zhang

The examine of global literature is at the upward thrust. till lately, the time period "world literature" used to be a misnomer in comparative literature scholarship, which usually eager about Western literature in ecu languages. In an more and more globalized period, this can be starting to switch. during this choice of essays, Zhang Longxi discusses how we will go beyond Eurocentrism or the other ethnocentrism and revisit the idea that of worldwide literature from a really international standpoint. Zhang considers literary works and significant insights from chinese language and different non-Western traditions, drawing on scholarship from a variety of disciplines within the humanities, and integrating a number of ways and views from either East and West. the increase of worldwide literature emerges as a thrilling new method of literary experiences as Zhang argues for the validity of cross-cultural figuring out, relatively from the point of view of East-West comparative experiences.

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44. , p. 70. 45. , p. 74. BM0697104 26 From Comparison to World Literature the 'pure language' which each language car ries within itself as its messianic echo. "46 For Benjamin, translatability is rooted in the very nature of languages and their comparable intentionality, it is confirmation of the possibility of translation on a con cep tuaI level, even though on a technical level, sorne words or expressions may prove to be untranslatable. "47 The idea of untranslatability is wrong because it is based, wittingly or unwittingly, on that narcissistic desire of cultural and Iinguistic purity, the ethnocentric illusion that one's own language and culture are unique, superior to, and incomparable with, any other.

31 32 From Corn paris on to World Literature Ethnography, which aims at the study of cultures, usually cultures of other groups than the ethnographer's own, is predicated on the understanding and interpretation of cultural differences. " The prominence of difference is now the distinct mark of postmodern ethnography. "l The emphasis on cultural difference thus assumes a paradigmatic role in ethnography or cultural anthropology, and that is indicative of what happens in many other fields and disciplines as weIl.

30. Lloyd, Demystifying Mentalities, p. 106. "32 Even today, these are still conspicuous differences, for Western medicine and the biomedical and pathological theories underlying medical treatment are quite different from the Chinese practice of acupuncture, herbaI medicine, and their theoretical justifications. These important differences between China and Greece would put any simplistic universal daim into question. Differences are a matter of degree, however, not of kind, and more or less understanding and communication have always worked across linguistic and cultural gaps.

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