Literature cannot be studied in isolation from the nation where it is produced, for it is a product of language and culture. However, as a “national” literature, English literature today is characterized by its being at the same time “transnational,” for it is expressed in a language that many other nations also speak or use. English literature has become transnational as the language goes global. The diffusion of the English language has led to an inevitable rise of literatures written in English in different parts of the world. In the international scene, “literatures in English” is a concept that has gradually been accepted as a replacement for “English literature” in recognition of the fact that there are different English literatures in the world. In the national scene, English literature is also “transnational” because its integral parts, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh literature, have their own distinct identities.
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