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UCL Mellon Programme: Interdisciplinary Seminar 2007-2008

Seminar: 15 January 2008

Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, more ...

In the Eye of Apollo: World Literature from Goethe to Google

Abstract:

“National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach.” Thus the Olympian poet Goethe spoke to his young disciple Johann Peter Eckermann in Weimar in 1827. In Copenhagen, 1899, the great European critic Georg Brandes revived the term as a response to the surge of nationalism in European literature and culture; and in 1952, the emigrant critic, Erich Auerbach, turned to Goethe’s enduring concept as a framework for the emerging future of philology and humanism after WWII.

Recent years have witnessed yet another revival of interest in world literature fuelled by a growing concern with a globalized marketplace, migration and new modes of communication. Goethe’s conversations with Eckermann, from which the concept was popularized, inaugurated a dialogue, based on a new cultural awareness of a global modernity, in which we still take part today.

This seminar will introduce to the shifting meanings and applications of the concept of world literature, especially as it relates to changing conceptions of international and national cultures and literatures, in order to suggest productive perspectives on the conditions of literature in a transnational space of globalized cultures and media.

This page last modified 26 September, 2012 by UCL Mellon Admin

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