Literature and the Making of the World. Cosmopolitan Texts, Vernacular Practices

Positioning itself at the intersection of world literature studies, literary anthropology, and philosophical critiques of “world” and “globe” concepts, this volume investigates how literature imagines and shapes worlds for its readers through linguistically specific cosmopolitan-vernacular dynamics, both at the level of textual engagement and on a material level of textual production and circulation. Moving from textual analyses in Part One—“Worlds in Texts”—to combined analyses of texts, media, and agents in the literary field in Part Two—“Texts in Worlds”—the concerns of these 9 chapters range from multilingualism, genre, and style, to material forms such as the little magazine or the scrapbook archive, and finally to activities such as travel (as a writing profession) and literary promotion.

With this focus on practice—which geographically engages with Constantinople, China, Russia, western Europe, North America, southern Africa, and India—the volume’s contributors demonstrate methodologically how world literature studies can bring the empirically specific detail to bear on global modes of analysis. It is precisely through such a dual optic that the world-making capacity of literature becomes apparent.

author Stefan Helgesson, Helena Bodin, Annika Mörte Alling (eds.)

New York: Bloomsbury

published 2022