Literature, Theory, History
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In this interdisciplinary work that ranges from the ancients through the Renaissance to the present, Jonathan Hart examines systems, law, theatre, nature, stereotype, otherness, authority, new historicism, deconstruction, feminism, reading, interpretation, poetry, and poetics. The book considers crucial topics and controversies involving the field of Comparative Literature, including subjectivity, Bartolomé de Las Casas, and globalization. Regardless of the period, this towering study assumes that meaning, genre, character, language, and structure are principal matters for debate.
South and East Asian literatures interpenetrate, and are similar and distinct. This is an example, perhaps, of a new World Literature, which changes the configurations of that which Goethe envisioned. During the 1980s, China generated interest in the West, but it was surprising that Western curiosity was not even greater, as China was more isolated under Mao than it was then. So, while concentrating on the mid1980s here, it is instructive to see the difference between the near obsession with
attention to the novelty of his “first” sighting of Natives.36 He says he will postpone this first moment of close inspection. Nevertheless, the texts and the men who wrote them are often ambivalent if not sometimes critical toward France and Europe. Recognitions, while sharing certain properties, are different. These travel texts confound easy generalizations about European “discoveries” of themselves and others. Léry later sums up the difficulty of representing Brazil and its inhabitants, as if
to serve all cultures in ways that will ensure and enhance their membership in the world system of literatures.”20 Systems are for exposition, not something of “universal validity.”21 Kushner sees the human at the center of literary and cultural studies, so that they complement each other. As Canada is a diverse but sparsely populated country and as its education is a jurisdiction of the provinces and as “Canada’s multicultural character, Canadian comparativists are well prepared to handle
time, it would be unadvisable to turn our backs on science. If anything, it needs a watchful eye. The science of criticism was at its peak in the twentieth century in the work of Roman Jakobson and Northrop Frye, when genre theory, semiotics, and structuralism were ascendant. This kind of criticism or theory could also cause discomfort among creative writers who wished to celebrate the individuality and creativity of their literary works. My method is not to advocate for one theorist or theory,
assumes historical change to be a significant element of reading and writing. The theatrical model of the text stresses the rhetorical relation between speaker and audience, writer and reader. It involves oral and written aspects and, ultimately, traces. Moreover, I maintain that culture connects images and words with the human place in nature and that this exchange involves communication and miscommunication, recognition and misrecognition. I also assume that even hindsight is fallible in