Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Hutchinson, Ben (2018) Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction. Very Short Introductions . Oxford University Press, Oxford, 160 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-880727-8. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Comparative Literature is both the past and the future of literary studies. Its history is intimately linked to the political upheavals of modernity: from colonial empire-building in the nineteenth century, via the Jewish diaspora of the twentieth century, to the postcolonial culture wars of the twenty-first century, attempts at 'comparison' have defined the international agenda of literature. But what is comparative literature? This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Comparative Literature as an agent of international relations, from the point of view both of scholarship and of cultural history more generally. Outlining the complex history and competing theories of comparative literature, Ben Hutchinson offers an accessible means of entry into a notoriously slippery subject, and shows how comparative literature can be like a Rorschach test, where people see in it what they want to see. Ultimately, comparative literature emerges at the very heart of literary criticism, for as George Steiner once noted, 'to read is to compare'.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages (inc film, TV and radio studies)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > German
Depositing User: Ben Hutchinson
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 08:59 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 11:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66888 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hutchinson, Ben: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3266-5846
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