• David Damrosch

    The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature. New Jersey: Princeton, 2009.
    1: Results of a Comparison of Different Peoples’ Poetry in Ancient and Modern Times (Herder)
    • Volksgeist – national spirit; Hender’s notion of connection between a people and a language.
    • Advantages of poetry include: taste of writers is formed, language determined + regulated, acquire patriotism and love for the fatherland
    • Abandon false ornament and look for the centre, for the truth, for the whole, moral nature of humanity, the philosophy of life.
    2: Of the General Spirit of Modern Literature (de Staël)
    • The only advantage which the moderns have over the ancient is the ability to express a more direct sensibility and greater knowledge of the human heart.
    • Ancients: persuasive, indifferent, philosophical + melancholic, imaginative
      Moderns: eloquent, enlivened arguments, unequalled in the sublime art of affecting the heart
    3: Conversations on World Literature (Goethe and Eckermann)
    • Goethe was the first person to formulate the concept of world literature, weltliteratur.
    • He commends the mode of altering whereby the imperfect is heightened to the perfect by continued invention.
    • Goethe: it is more difficult to create original inventions than translations.
    4: From The Birth of Tragedy (Nietzsche)
    • Nietzsche identifies with two tendencies in Greek tragedy: 1) the Apollonian (dreamlike, form-making capacity of art); 2) the Dionysian (intoxication with art’s irrational powers, exemplified in music)
    • They are opposite in origin and aims; run parallel to each other; and their opposition causes the birth of new things.
    • Nietsche’s tragic culture: wisdom takes the place of science.
    5: Present Tasks of Comparative Literature (Meltzl)
    • Meltzl thinks of comparative literature as: “a slow emerging discipline of the future”.
    • Meltzl believes “a reform of literary history” is only possible through the application of the comparative principle.
    • He agrees that translation widens the spread of literature, but the principle of translation has to be accompanied by the principle of polyglotism.
    9: The Epic and the Novel (Lukács)
    • The European novel is a pure literary form which is alienated from social life – contrary to the world of the epic.
    • The epic and the novel differ from one another not because of the intention of the author but by the historical and political realities which the authors are facing when they write their works.
    • The Novel uncovers and constructs the totality of life and the novel’s heroes are seen as seekers of this totality with their psychology dissected along the way.
    12: Preface to European Literature and the Middle Ages (Curtius)
    • Germany was suppressed by the Nazis and their idea of where culture was heading.  They had their own ideas of how they were going to form literary works.
    • He wrote this book in the hope of creating greater cultural understanding and to bring back humanism where it had been obliterated by the World War. Also to recover European heritage by studying the Latin literature of the Middle Ages.
    13: Philology and Weltliteratur (Auerbach)
    • The inner history of the last thousand years is the history of mankind achieving self-expression; this is what philology, a historicist discipline, treats.
    • The characteristic of a good point of departure is its concreteness and its precision on the one hand, and on the
    other, its potential for centrifugal radiation
    • Our philological home is the earth; it can no longer be the nation.
    14: From Minima Moralia (Adorno)
    • Adorno interweaves French and German poetry, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Proust, Kafka , and comments on popular culture and European opera in an objective critique that is also a deeply personal confession.
    • Minima Moralia: a loosely connected set of meditations on the role of culture, and of the cultural critic, in a time of crisis
    17: The Crisis of Comparative Literature (Wellek)
    • Works of art to Wellek are not simply sums of sources and influences as this process violates the meaning of the work.
    • Comparative literature arose as a reaction against passionate nationalism of 19th century scholarship. Wellek criticizes those who talk of unification but instead practice cultural nationalism.
    • General cultural history (religious and political concepts- extrinsic influences) will not help literary scholarship progress.
    18: The Structuralist Activity by Roland Brathes:
    • The concept of the signified\signifier and synchronic\diachronic to distinguish Structuralism from other theories.
    • The goal is to reconstruct the object to manifest the rule of functioning of the object.
    • Structuralism is an activity of imitation: structure man à takes the real object à decomposes it à recomposes it.
    • The activity involves 2 operations:
         1.      Dissection: to find fragments in object.
         2.      Articulation: the establishment of certain rules of association.
    • It gives a new “functional” category of the object \ highlights the process of man giving new meaning to things.
    19: Women’s Time by Julia Kristiva:
    • Symbolic denominator: Cultural and religious memories.
    • It revels beyond globalization new characteristics for the nation that are rediscovered by repressed past.
    • Her argument: the nation is based on its symbolic denominator and not it’s economic profile. Therefore, a social ensemble is established.
    • The problems with socio-cultural ensembles: the identity and the loss of identity.
    • Two generations of the feminist movement:
         1.      Political struggle: “equality with men”
         2.      Dynamic of signs: “the symbolic realization of women”
    • The movement was inspired by Freudianism “sexual differences” and Marxism “egalitarian doctrine”.
    21: Writing by Barbra Johnson:
    • The difference between “wok” a finished representation of an object and “text” infinite process that generates meaning.
    • Saussure’s The Sign: the signified\signifier.
    • Derrida’s Binary Oppositions
    22: The Position of Translated within the Literary Polysystem by Itmar Even Zohar
    • Translated work should be treated on an individual basis.
    • Translated works correlate in:
         1.      The principles of collection source texts by target texts.     
         2.      The use of literary repertoire.
    • Translated works shape the center of the polysystem.
    • Selecting works to be translated is determined by the situation governing the polysystem as it has to be compatible with the new approaches within the target text.
         3 conditions to the above situation:
              1.      Literature is young “in the process of establishment”.
              2.      When literature is parapheral “within large group of literature”.    
              3.      When there is a turning point or crisis.
    • It doesn’t maintain a relation with the original writing.
    23: Cross-cultural Poetics: National Literature by Edouard Glissant:
    • The same: punctuates the effort to transcend universal humanism “being”.
    • The diverse: the struggle towards universal relation \ it needs to people “relation”.
    • Written à the influence of the same.
    • Oral à the manifestation of the diverse.
    24: The World, the Text, the Critic by Edward Saied:
    • It’s not simple to combine aesthetics or literary documents with the critic’s role and his worldliness.
    • A recording and a printed object are subject to political, social and economic constraints.
    • A recording and a printed object are instances of style and a phenomenon of repetition and reception.
    • Style neutralizes the worldliness of the existence of a solitary text.
    • Speech and circumstantial reality exist in the present while text exists in the suspension, outside the circumstantial reality.
    • There’s no self sufficient text.
    • In medieval Arabic linguistic system:
         1.      The Zahirists: text has a surface meaning.
         2.      The Batinists: meaning is concealed within word.
    Sara Al-Shammari, Tasneem Abul, Zainab AlNaki, Fatima Alsayegh