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Introduction

  • Marko JuvanEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Canon and World Literature book series (CAWOLI)

Abstract

To frame the introduction of individual chapters, I discuss globalization as the economic, ideological, and intellectual ecosystem, in which literary studies—both in metropolises and peripheries—rediscovered Goethe’s Weltliteratur. World literature was reinterpreted either as liberating circulation and cross-cultural dialogism or hegemony of the literary world-system. Goethe initiated a meta-discourse on world literature that influenced transnational literary practices during the successive cycles of global capitalism. He expected literary circulation to enable an equal dialogue between nations, networking of the educated elite, and universal recognition of belated or (semi-)peripheral literatures. Marxism exposed Goethe’s concept as an ideologeme of European bourgeoisie’s global hegemony. Torn between dialogism and hegemony, the process of “worlding” (Kadir) and nationalizing European literatures has taken place since the early nineteenth century.

Keywords

Literary world-system Globalization Dialogue Hegemony Nationalization Worlding 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsLjubljanaSlovenia

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