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p. 463. History and heroeslocked

  • Ben Hutchinson

Abstract

Seen from a Western perspective, the history of comparative literature can be divided into three categories: how European literatures have been compared inside Europe; how European literature has been compared with other cultures outside Europe; and how literatures outside Europe have been compared among themselves. ‘History and heroes’ explains how from the empire building of the 19th century, via the Jewish diaspora of the 20th century, to the postcolonial culture wars of the 21st century, the problems and prejudices of comparative literature have formed a cultural counterpart to the problems and prejudices of modernity. To understand its history, in this spirit, is to understand why it matters.

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