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Comparing the LiteraturesLiterary Studies in a Global Age$
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David Damrosch

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134994

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134994.001.0001

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Origins

Origins

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 Origins
Source:
Comparing the Literatures
Author(s):

David Damrosch

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691134994.003.0002

This chapter explains how the history of comparative literature is a history of archives, such as of libraries and collections that are either preserved or lost and studied or forgotten. It mentions the first library that was established by the Tang Dynasty monk Xuanzang when he returned from his epochal journey to the western regions in order to collect Buddhist manuscripts. It also talks about the foundations of comparative literature that were established by the comparative philology that began in Renaissance Italy and spread to many parts of Enlightenment Europe. The chapter looks at Max Koch who wrote about comparative literary history and how it gained a sure footing with the inclusion of Oriental material. It also analyzes non-Eurocentric comparatism that draws on philological traditions from China and Japan to the Arab world.

Keywords:   comparative literature, comparative philology, Renaissance Italy, Enlightenment Europe, Max Koch, comparative literary history, non-Eurocentric comparatism

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