Susan bassnett comparative literature pdf


    Bassnett, Susan - Comparative Literature - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Uploaded from Google Docs. PDF | This study focuses on issues such as what comparative literature is or not, how it is perceived (), Susan Basnett's Comparative Literature: A Critical. Comparative literature: a critical introduction / Susan Bassnett How Comparative Literature Came into Being; Beyond the Frontiers of Table of contents at http:/​/​​dms/​hbz/​toc/​htpdf · Table of contents at.

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    Susan Bassnett Comparative Literature Pdf

    BY SUSAN BASSNETT - COMPARATIVE LITERATURE: A. CRITICAL INTRODUCTION BY SUSAN BASSNETT PDF. As we specified before, the technology. Get this from a library! Comparative literature: a critical introduction. [Susan Bassnett]. Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction (): Susan Bassnett: Books.

    True, on the one hand there is a flourishing international comparative literature association, with daughter branches in dozens of different countries, there are journals and conferences and graduate programmes and all the panoply of academic organisations that testify to the existence of a solid field of study. But on the other hand, the concerns that were expressed in the latter decades of the twentieth century remain unresolved. The original enterprise of comparative literature, which sought to read literature trans-nationally in terms of themes, movements, genres, periods, zeitgeist, history of ideas is out-dated and needs to be rethought in the light of writing being produced in emergent cultures. There is therefore a politicised dimension to comparative literature; Spivak proposes the idea of planetarity in opposi- tion to globalisation, which she argues involves the imposition of the same values and system of exchange everywhere. It is a theory deriving from her own particular history and from the perspective which that history invites. Other voices can now be heard, rather than one single dominant voice. Plurivocality is at the heart of post-colonial thinking. However, neither paradigm is particularly helpful for those of us who have as a starting point one or other of those great traditions. Attempts to define comparative literature tended to concentrate on questions of national or linguistic boundaries. For the subject to be authentic, it was felt, the activity of comparing had to be based on an idea of difference: texts or writers or movements should ideally be compared across linguistic boundaries, and this view lasted a very long time. As late as the s I was being told by my supervisor that I could not engage in comparative literature if I were studying writers working in the same language; literature written in English was deemed to be all of a piece, the different cultural contexts completely ignored. At the same time, also in the s, Wole Soyinka was unable to give lectures in the English Faculty at Cambridge where he was Visiting Fellow, since African literature was not recognised, and was compelled to lecture under the aegis of Social Anthropology. The stifling weight of the Great European Tradition was such that it is not surprising that there should have been such a violent reaction by post-colonial scholars.

    The result was the soon-to-be-famous "Ph. For Bernheimer criticizes the field for being too literary, yet admires its urge to cross cultural, linguistic, and disciplinary borders, thereby reviving the force of"comparative. Whatever the value ofthis insight, Susan Bassnett's critical introduction to the field, written from a British perspective, proposes to go one step further—to abandon the term entirely.

    Comparative literature : a critical introduction

    Such a drastic step is needed, she contends, because "Comparative literature as a discipline has had its day" and we "should look upon translation studies as the principal discipline" But despite the new field's strengths, her proposal is not entirely persuasive. For one thing, to the extent that Bassnett stresses "the manipulative process of intercultural transfer and its ideological implications" , she makes "translation " serve much the same purpose that "comparison" does for Bernheimer.

    To do herjustice, however, her term has useful semantic links with such key cross-cultural concepts as "transformative" and "transnational. Bassnett's case against comparative literature becomes more troubling when she somewhat skews its history. In particular, by sharply criticizing the simplistic binarism of Van Tieghem and the French school , but then rapidly passing over the accomplishments of the American school in the s and s, she makes the field seem narrower and less adventurous than it really was.

    The spirit ofAmerican comVcH. Finally, even Bassnett's title betrays a certain confusion. Who is comparing? And both theorists would reveal the same as their work unfolds. The strong suggestion being made is that something is being measured against a given, against an already established norm of language, literature, and culture.

    It is thus, less of a mutual exchange and more of a hierarchical sorting or arranging.

    Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction

    Here, whether intended to or not, a binary relationship is established and inevitably leads to one weighed as superior to the other. Hence, comparison carried forth based on such principles would lead to establishing canons of greater and lesser works texts ; consequently, greater and lesser languages, cultures, and so on, in a hierarchical fashion.

    The Bernheimer Report, , prepared by a committee chaired by Charles Bernheimer, can also be seen as a response to the problematic earlier orientations to comparative Rao 5 literature. The Bernheimer Report can be seen as a response to two earlier reports on Standards written for the ACLA: the report prepared by the committee chaired by Harry Levin, and the report prepared by the committee chaired by Thomas Greene. It also suggests a redefining of methods in comparative literature and outlines a set of standards for the same at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

    Comparative Literature pdf, epub, mobi - Mon premier blog

    Highlighting what comparison entails, or should entail, according to the committee, the report urges for a porosity in the practise: The space of comparison today involves comparisons between artistic productions usually studies by different disciplines; between various cultural constructions of those disciplines; between Western cultural traditions, both high and popular, and those of non-Western cultures; between the pre- and postcontact cultural productions of colonized peoples; between gender constructions defined as feminine and those defined as masculine, or between sexual orientations defined as straight and those defined as gay; between racial and ethnic modes of signifying; between hermeneutic articulations of meaning and materialist analyses of its modes of production and circulation; and much more.

    Bernheimer Here, clearly, the idea of comparison is being contextualised as inseparable from cultural forces attached to literature itself. What can be established by this is that comparison is not just a crossing over of boundaries, but more so an expansion into a theorising of the nature of the boundaries; in other words, it is a theoretical discursive endeavour that is steeped in the field of cultural production.

    However, the absence of literature itself from the focus of the Report with regard to comparative literature is extremely provocative.

    The idea of what entails literature itself, the qualities or values ascribed to the same that makes it literature, needs to be evaluated in this comparative practise as well.

    In this sense, her argument can be understood as the Bernheimer Report expressing the same restrictiveness that it opposed in the Levine and Greene Reports. Nonetheless, the import of what the Bernheimer Report suggests is the relationship between comparative literature and cultural studies through the act of comparing.

    Subsequently, it is definitely worth looking further into the larger picture of the relationship shared between comparative literature and cultural studies — is the latter assimilated under the former, or vice versa? The earlier quote provided from the Bernheimer Report regarding literary texts approached as one discursive practice of cultural production seems to suggest an effacing of boundaries between literary texts and cultural production. However, it can be argued that literary texts comparative or otherwise form just a portion of cultural production; as in, all literary texts can be understood to be a part of cultural production, but Rao 7 all cultural production need not have to involve literary texts.

    In this sense, comparative practice of literature can be understood as a subset of cultural production and cultural studies rather than cultural production being a subset of the comparative practice of literature.

    And a further implication for comparative literature from this is that in order to compare there is no escaping the need for a literary text. There now emerges several possibilities for what a literary text could entail: text as not just written words on paper poetry, prose, a novel, and so on , but text as different media painting, photography, film, theatre, and so on.

    The literary text written in words would have to form at least one of the two or more entities being compared — a literary novel with its film adaptation; the use of photographs within poetry or prose; or the metaphorical function of a painting within a literary work, and so on.

    In terms of one literary text being compared with another, especially as in the case of translations, theorists such as Bassnett, Bernheimer, and Pratt, all favour the promotion of bilingualism or multilingualism.

    Bernheimer too favours multilingualism, as is evident in the Report. What these theorists seem to be asserting explicitly or implicitly is that when comparing two literary texts in translation, and the text is read in translation and analysed in the original language, it evokes an opening up towards other cultural sensibilities, and accomplishes a certain cultural competency — and this would only be possible if the comparatist has linguistic competency in both languages source and target.

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    Also, studying or analysing a text in its original language would reduce the risk of misinterpreting or misreading the text on both the linguistic as well as the cultural and contextual levels.

    Furthermore, multilingualism or bilingualism would allow for an expanding in creative and aesthetic practices within the field of comparative literature as well.

    Rey Chow, however, finds it problematic to equate comparison with multilingualism per se. The concerns of Chow and Lanser highlighted above seem reasonable in that they are wary of a prescriptive linguistic module being institutionalised, and privileged, with regard to institutional practices of comparative literature.

    And such privileging of multilingualism for them is in danger of rendering it elitist. Furthermore, this privileging of multilingualism seems to function on the assumption that multilingualism would ensure model communication, harmony between languages and cultures, and a sharing or comingling of the same, which depoliticises comparative practices and frees it from bigotry.

    Such assumptions are not only improbable, but also risky in that they could provide false security to the objectives and the area of comparative literature on the whole. Another factor that the comparative in comparative literature must take into account is its engagement with the activity of canon formation and value construction. Attention should also be paid to the role of noncanonical readings of canonical texts, readings from various contestatory, marginal, or subaltern perspectives.


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