Comparative Literature and World Literature: From Goethe to Globalization
Bernard Franco’s chapter starts by noting the simultaneous birth of comparative literature and world literature at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Ampère and Fauriel are generally considered as being at the origin of comparative literature; Goethe as the founder of world literature. Both notions share the ideal of transcending national borders. But the first one is linked to the development of comparative sciences and of philology, which implies a historical approach to literature; the other one considers the main literary works as a common legacy of humankind. Franco then focuses his analysis on the historical development of both notions and on their presence in criticism, in order to enlighten the contemporary discussions about globalization.