Literature for Europe?


In Literature for Europe? leading scholars from around Europe reflect on the role played by literature, and by the study of literature, in the constant re-negotiation and re-construction of cultural identities in Europe implied by the accession to the European Union, in the early years of the twenty-first century, of fifteen new member states, with the accession of a number of Balkan states impending, and Turkey waiting in the wings, while at the same time transatlantic relations of the EU to the USA are hotly debated, in politics as in culture, China and India awake as economic giants, and globalization is upon us. At the same time, two of the earliest signatories to the treaties eventually leading to the European Union rejected a proposal for a European Constitution, and linguistic, religious, and ethnic dividing lines show even in some of Europe’s oldest nation states. How do literary texts, genres, and forms, thinking about them and teaching them, respond to and shape ongoing processes of European self-understanding in our era of globalization? The volume seeks to answer these questions by charting key developments in a number of fields crucial to the emergence of a European common literary “space”: literature and cultural value systems, literature and cultural memory, literary history, translation, the impact of the new media and the information age on matters of literature and identity, and the impact of the postcolonial. Literature for Europe? is a thought-provoking tour d’horizon of cutting-edge developments in the relationship between literary studies and “the matter of Europe,” and suggesting an exciting agenda for literary studies in Europe. It will be of interest to everyone working in European studies and/or European literature.


EUR €118.00USD $152.00

Table of contents

Theo D’haen: Introduction
Models for European Literature
Pascale Casanova: European Literature: Simply a Higher Degree of Universality?
Vladimir Biti: Toward a Literary Community?
Françoise Meltzer: What is Wrong with National Literature Departments?
Sigrid Weigel: On the “Topographical Turn”: Concepts of Space in Cultural Studies and Kulturwissenschaften: A Cartographic Feud
Thomas Claviez: What is a European? Letters from a European Americanist
Kristian Van Haesendonck: From Atavism to Creolization: “Europeanness” in Contemporary Caribbean Discourse
Ottmar Ette: European Literature(s) in the Global Context: Literatures for Europe
Robert J.C. Young: English and the Language of Others
Satu Gröndahl: Multicultural or Multilingual Literature: A Swedish Dilemma?
Stephanos Stephanides: Turning East
The Cultural Work of Memory in European Literature
John Neubauer: Voices from Exile: A Literature for Europe?
Mara Cambiaghi: A Gentleman Writer and His Sister: The Alternative Worlds of Beppe and Marisa Fenoglio
Gerhard Fischer: Writing ex patria: W.G. Sebald and the Construction of a Literary Identity
Christoph Parry: Constructing European Identity in Fiction: Three Strategies
Wiljan van den Akker and Gillis Dorleijn: Did we Stop Reading Poetry? An Optimistic Approach to Cultural Pessimism
José M. González García: Spanish Literature and the Recovery of Historical Memory
Lisbeth Stenberg: Marginalization and Paradoxes of Identity Formation
Anne Heith: Europeanization and Regional Particularity: The Northern Lights Route and the Writings of Bengt Pohjanen
Helena Bodin: Byzantine Literature for Europe? From Karelia to Istanbul with the Swedish Modernist Poet Gunnar Ekelöf
Nagihan Haliloğlu: Memories of the City: The Metropole as Significant Other in Elif Şafak’s Flea Palace and Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul
Reet Sool: On Literary Amnesia: Facing the Future
Monica Spiridon: Literature and the Symbolic Engineering of the European Self


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