The First Slovenian Novel and the Literary World-System

In: Journal of World Literature
Jernej Habjan Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

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The first Slovenian novel is yet to be read in a way that is both comparative and sociological. For while Slovenian studies treats the emergence of the Slovenian novel sociologically but not comparatively, comparative literature studies views it comparatively yet not sociologically. This gap can be filled by the perspective of the literary world-system. Moreover, this viewpoint can subtilize the thesis of Slovenian studies that the belatedness of the Slovenian novel is part of the belatedness of the Slovenian bourgeoisie as well as the comparatist thesis that the Slovenian novel became possible only after the end of the possibility of the traditional European novel. The world-systemic approach can grasp this belatedness as a social fact that speaks less of the Slovenian novel’s essence than of the structural relations between Slovenian culture and its European social environment.

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