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Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Ben Hutchinson

March 2018

ISBN: 9780198807278

160 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Considering literature comparatively can help readers realize how much can be learned by looking beyond the horizon of their own cultures, discovering not only more about other literatures, but also about their own. Ben Hutchinson offers a history of comparative literature, placing it at the heart of literary criticism.

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Description

Considering literature comparatively can help readers realize how much can be learned by looking beyond the horizon of their own cultures, discovering not only more about other literatures, but also about their own. Ben Hutchinson offers a history of comparative literature, placing it at the heart of literary criticism.

  • Offers an overview of the complex history of Comparative Literature, setting the development of the discipline within the context of political and cultural history
  • Explores how comparative literature relates to history, politics, and sociology as well as literary theory
  • Shows the value and importance of encountering literature from outside one's own culture
  • Outlines the main competing theories of comparative literature
  • Considers the future of comparative literature
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over nine million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature, University of Kent

Ben Hutchinson is Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent. He is a Fellow of the Academia Europaea, a Philip Leverhulme Prize winner, and a Member of the Executive Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA), as well as a regular contributor to newspapers including the TLS and the Literary Review. His publications include Rilke's Poetics of Becoming (2006), W. G. Sebald. Die dialektische Imagination (2009), Modernism and Style (2011), and Lateness and Modern European Literature (2016).

Table of Contents

    1:Metaphors of Reading
    2:Practices and Principles
    3:History and Heroes
    4:Disciplines and Debates
    5:The Futures of Comparative Literature
    Further Reading
    Index

Reviews

"With admirable clarity, Hutchinson analyses the issues that the discipline faces, and brings back invigorating news of possibilities ahead. This eloquent and richly packed VSI puts the case for comparative literature as the most vital, enriching and valuable way of reading and studying literature at a time of colossal shifts in the prospects of the Humanities." - Marina Warner, President of the Royal Society of Literature

"This fascinating study presents an optimistic view of the state of comparative literature today, showing how the discipline has evolved and why it is so important. This book should be required reading for anyone with an interest in literature." - Susan Bassnett, President of the British Comparative Literature Association

"Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction focuses not only on the history of comparative literature but also the future of it."