© 2016

Reading the Past Across Space and Time

Receptions and World Literature

  • Brenda Deen Schildgen
  • Ralph Hexter

Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Brenda Deen Schildgen, Ralph Hexter
    Pages 1-19
  3. Epic Receptions

  4. Greek Philosophical Receptions

  5. Drama and Receptions

  6. Lyric Receptions

About this book


Featuring leading scholars in their fields, this book examines receptions of ancient and early modern literary works from around the world (China, Japan, Ancient Maya, Ancient Mediterranean, Ancient India, Ancient Mesopotamia) that have circulated globally across time and space (from East to West, North to South, South to West). Beginning with the premise of an enduring and revered cultural past, the essays go on to show how the circulation of literature through translation and other forms of reception in fact long predates modern global society; the idea of national literary canons have existed just over a hundred years and emerged with the idea of national educational curricula. Highlighting the relationship of culture and politics in which canons are created, translated, promulgated, and preserved, this book argues that such nationally-defined curricula were challenged by critics and writers in the wake of the Second World War. 


Comparative Literature World literature Transcultural studies Reception theory Global Literary Reception Lyric reception Drama reception

Editors and affiliations

  • Brenda Deen Schildgen
    • 1
  • Ralph Hexter
    • 2
  1. 1.Comparative LiteratureUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Classics and Comparative LiteratureUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

About the editors

Brenda Deen Schildgen is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis, USA. The author of more than fifty articles focused on Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, as well as Chaucer, Augustine, and biblical hermeneutics, her most recent books include Divine Providence, A History: Bible, Virgil, Orosius, Augustine, and Dante; Heritage or Heresy: Destruction and Preservation of Art and Architecture in Europe; and Other Renaissances: A New Approach to World Literature.

Ralph Hexter is Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Caliornia, Davis, USA, where he also serves as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. He has published on Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, the reception of Ovid, and the intersections of the history of scholarship and sexuality.

Bibliographic information


“If ‘literariness’ and ‘the autonomy of the aesthetic’ ever meant anything, it cannot have been a purely abstract difference from all material pressures or circumstances. This collection shows literariness arising from specific instances of context-breaking and cultural grafting, and suggests a new field of study, ‘receptions’ defined as the total of such acts. Non-reductive, polyglot, historically deep, and argumentatively pointed, it restores the ‘effective history’ of circulation and reception.” (Haun Saussy, University Professor, University of Chicago, USA)

Reading the Past Across Space and Time: Receptions and World Literature breaks new ground in its sophisticated examination of literary circulation across a wide range of linguistic, geographic, national, and cultural domains. The case studies will prove valuable for all readers with interests in reception and world literature.” (Kenneth Haynes, Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics, Brown University, USA)