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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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(p.122) 4 Theories
Comparing the Literatures

David Damrosch

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about the contemporary “literary theory” as a shared international field of discourse with pronounced differences in how theory is conceived and practiced around the world. It analyzes influence studies in Japan that have greater prominence than in many other countries and the questions of aesthetics and narratology that often take center stage in Europe. The chapter discusses a survey in Spain, Teoría literaria y literature comparada, in which Jordi Llovet and four other colleagues delineate the varieties of theory differently than scholars would in the United States. It points out how Llovet devotes far more space to genre theory and periodization than to poststructuralist approaches. It also looks into a different construction of theory that places greater emphasis on Russian formalism and its influence, an approach often championed by comparatists with a base in Slavic studies.

Keywords:   literary theory, influence studies, genre theory, periodization, poststructuralist approaches, Russian formalism, comparatists, Slavic studies

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