Introduction: World Literature Beyond Synchronism

Part of the New Comparisons in World Literature book series (NCWL)


The introduction situates the concept of non-synchronism in current debates in world-literary studies. Drawing on the Warwick Research Collective’s concept of world literature, non-synchronism is presented as a dialectical and materialist way of thinking the temporality of literary expression from peripheral formations of the capitalist world economy. In its aesthetic and social aspects, the temporal dimension analysed in the introduction is affiliated to discourses on a singular modernity, the questions of totality and of peripheral modernism, the antinomies of Ernst Bloch’s philosophy, and debates on culture and politics at the heart of literary criticism after postcolonialism. Non-synchronism opposes both teleological views of history and the relativism of ideologies of multiple modernities, illustrating how heterogeneous temporalities need to be located within the systemic frame of reference imposed by the accumulation of capital.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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