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Exchanges between Iberia and the British Isles, 1500–1767
In Exile, Diplomacy and Texts, Ana Sáez-Hidalgo and Berta Cano-Echevarría offer an interdisciplinary narrative of religious, political, and diplomatic exchanges between early modern Iberia and the British Isles during a period uniquely marked by inconstant alliances and corresponding antagonisms. Such conditions notwithstanding, the essays in this volume challenge conventionally monolithic views of confrontation, providing through fresh examination of exchanges of news, movements and interactions of people, transactions of books and texts, new evidence of trans-national and trans-cultural conversations between British and Irish communities in the Iberian Peninsula, and of Spanish and Portuguese ‘others’ travelling to Britain and Ireland.

Contributors include: Berta Cano-Echevarría, Rui Carvalho Homem, Mark Hutchings, , Thomas O’Connor, Susana Oliveira, Tamara Pérez-Fernández, Glyn Redworth, Marta Revilla-Rivas, and Ana Sáez-Hidalgo.
In the past years, reflections on Jewish literatures and theoretical and methodological approaches discussed in Comparative Literature have converged. Places and Forms of Encounter in Jewish Literatures. Transfer, Mediality and Situativity brings together close readings and contextualizations of Jewish literatures with theories discussed in Comparative and World Literature Studies. The contributions are arranged in five chapters capturing central processes, actors and dynamics in the making of literatures, namely Literary Agents, Literary Figures, Writing Voids, Making of Literatures and Perceiving and Creating Languages. The volume seeks to illuminate the interrelations between literary systems, and to highlight Jewish literatures as a prism for encounters on the levels of text, discourse and culture, and their transformative force.
The Literary Sinitic Context and the Birth of Modern Japanese Language and Literature
In Kanbunmyaku: The Literary Sinitic Context and the Birth of Modern Japanese Language and Literature, Saito Mareshi demonstrates the centrality of Literary Sinitic poetry and prose in the creation of modern literary Japanese. Saito’s new understanding of the role of “ kanbunmyaku” in the formation of Japanese literary modernity challenges dominant narratives tied to translations from modern Western literatures and problematizes the antagonism between Literary Sinitic and Japanese in the modern academy. Saito shows how kundoku (vernacular reading) and its rhythms were central to the rise of new inscriptional styles, charts the changing relationship of modern poets and novelists to kanbunmyaku, and concludes that the chronotope of modern Japan was based in a language world supported by the Literary Sinitic Context.
Author: Grzegorz Moroz
A Generic History of Travel Writing in Anglophone and Polish Literature offers a comprehensive, comparative and generic analysis of developments of travel writing in Anglophone and Polish literature from the Late Medieval Period to the twenty-first century. These developments are depicted in a wider context of travel narratives written in other European languages. Grzegorz Moroz convincingly argues that, for all the similarities and cross-cultural influences, in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century non-fiction Anglophone and Polish travel writing have dynamically evolved different generic horizons of expectations. While the Anglophone travel book developed relatively steadily in that period, the Polish genre of the podróż was first replaced by the listy (kartki) z podróży, and then by the reportaż podróżniczy.
A Companion to Geoffrey of Monmouth brings together scholars from a range of disciplines to provide an updated scholarly introduction to all aspects of his work. Arguably the most influential secular writer of medieval Britain, Geoffrey (d. 1154) popularized Arthurian literature and left an indelible mark on European romance, history, and genealogy. Despite this outsized influence, Geoffrey’s own life, background, and motivations are little understood. The volume situates his life and works within their immediate historical context, and frames them within current critical discussion across the humanities. By necessity, this volume concentrates primarily on Geoffrey’s own life and times, with the reception of his works covered by a series of short encyclopaedic overviews, organized by language, that serve as guides to further reading.

Contributors are Jean Blacker, Elizabeth Bryan, Thomas H. Crofts, Siân Echard, Fabrizio De Falco, Michael Faletra, Ben Guy, Santiago Gutiérrez García, Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, Paloma Gracia, Georgia Henley, David F. Johnson, Owain Wyn Jones, Maud Burnett McInerney, Françoise Le Saux, Barry Lewis, Coral Lumbley, Simon Meecham-Jones, Paul Russell, Victoria Shirley, Joshua Byron Smith, Jaakko Tahkokallio, Hélène Tétrel, Rebecca Thomas, Fiona Tolhurst.
Author: Nathanael Pree


The Rings of Saturn and other works by W.G. Sebald are discussed in conjunction with Landscape of Farewell, by Australian novelist Alex Miller, extending Aimé Césaire’s choc-en-retour, or “boomerang effect,” and following Michael Rothberg’s articulation of “Multidimensional Memory,” to inform a comparative, transcontinental analysis of specific aftershocks of colonialism. Contexts include contemporary Brussels, Indigenous Australia and the eroded coast of East Anglia. The effects of competing and complementary trajectories that arise from postcolonial memory, the presence of found books, following Homi Bhabha, and the intertextual presences of Joseph Conrad and explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, are discussed. The role of poesis articulated by an uncertain narrator against a background of exploitation and genocide is evaluated, as well as the effects of colonial activity on the landscape itself. In conclusion, the article considers the role of literature in effecting reconciliation and restitution.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Mushtaq Bilal


This paper investigates how Mohsin Hamid’s fiction challenges the so-called “natural law” of world literature according to which a work of literature has to be first born into a national literature before circulating into world literature. In addition, the paper shows how Hamid’s fiction and its reception strains the category of “national literature.” Building on the theoretical insights of Vittorio Coletti and Alexander Beecroft, I argue that Hamid’s 2017 novel Exit West can be read as a world novel because it narrates the world by framing the displacement of its characters in terms of migratory movement from the Global South to the Global North. The two narrative devices characteristic of the genre of world novel used in Exit West are: delocalization of place and entrelacement, or multi-strand narration.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Franco Moretti


“Yes, interesting,” said someone from the audience, the first time I presented on dramatic networks; “but, as a mathematician, I feel I only understand something if I know how to ‘make’ it. So: how do you make a dramatic network? What elements does it need, what rules, what stages?” At the time, I had no idea how to respond; in a discipline like ours, where the objects of study are emphatically given – passed on with care, and often with reverence, from generation to generation – the idea of “making” Hamlet sounded half absurd, half sacrilegious. But that’s exactly my object here: neither real plays, nor even the networks that can be extracted from them, but their “simulations” instead.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Daniel Behar


This article examines translation activity in modern Syria and its intersections with original works as a middle ground between world literature and postcolonial studies. It argues for a return to the multiplicity residing within a postcolonial national setting as a way of understanding poetic production in interaction with foreign poetries. Syrian translating as practiced in the state-endorsed literary periodical Al-Adab Al-Ajanbiyya (Foreign Literatures) is studied as a site of tension between a political rhetoric maintained by a growingly invasive state and the narrowing field of individual enterprise. How would world literature figure from the perspective of a state-backed, professedly Arab-socialist culture? How would this construction then be contested by agents struggling to carve out spaces for individual expression? What role does translation play in this struggle? The parameters of postcolonial experience and representation are themselves fought over in an unequal playing field between state power and beleaguered authors on the literary margins. Translations originating in politicized agendas then become constitutive of non-ideological engagements with world literature sanctioning deviations from state hegemony and promoting civilian agendas.

In: Journal of World Literature
Author: Byron Taylor


Was Immanuel Kant Russian? More striking than the fact itself is the length of time it was overlooked: following historian Alexander Etkind’s research on the topic, this paper details Königsberg’s occupation by the Russian Empire, considering the possibilities of reinstating Kant’s thought in the postcolonial tradition, more specifically that of the subaltern (as framed by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak). Taking this colonial context into account via a range of historical records and correspondences, I argue for a postcolonial reinterpretation and re-evaluation of the philosopher’s work, beginning with his famous essay on the topic of enlightenment. In what ways does this pertain to the enlightenment, as Kant sees it, and the way he distinguishes between the public and private spheres? Furthermore, how does Spivak’s reading of Kant overlook the subaltern status that she herself defines?

In: Journal of World Literature