Friday, August 5, 2011

World Literature

Question: Why teach world literature?

Answer/Quote: “Fundamentally, world literature pursues a fantasy, a utopian concept of global coherence and connectivity, and while this pursuit may constitute a problem for us, it is also a source of both rhetorical and pedagogical power. At a time of potential despair and cynicism about our global situation, world literature motivates us to seek words and concepts that shape our ideal of a ‘world’ that is meaningful, safe and just.” P. 601.

Comment: Sounds as if this author wants to unite the world through teaching world literature. And since when is literature of any kind “safe” and “just”? I think the question is a good one, and deserves thinking about. I think the author’s answer is more than a little idealistic. RayS.

Title: “What Good is World Literature?: World Literature Pedagogy and the Rhetoric of Moral Crisis.” KR Smith. College English (July 2011), 585-603.

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