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State University of New York Press
Building a Profession: Autobiographical Perspectives on the History of Comparative Literature in the United States

Building a Profession: Autobiographical Perspectives on the History of Comparative Literature in the United States

by Lionel Gossman, Mihai I. Spariosu


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At a time when the study of literature and the literary canon itself are once again the focus of intense debate, Building a Profession offers a retrospective on the early days of Comparative Literature in the United States and on its role in defining literary scholarship in the heady decades following the end of the second World War. Composed of autobiographical sketches by a number of eminent comparatists, chiefly of the generation that has either recently retired or is approaching retirement, it anchors the intellectual and scholarly aspirations of the post-War period, through the personal narratives of those who shared in them and promoted them, in the experience of war, uprooting, racial and religious intolerance or persecution, and a deep longing for peaceful exchange and international understanding. It is both a contribution to the history of literary study in the United States and a record of changes that have taken place in the culture of this country since World War II.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791418000
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 03/28/1994
Series: SUNY series, The Margins of Literature Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Lionel Gossman is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Princeton University.

Mihai I. Spariosu is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia, Athens.

Table of Contents


1. Memories of the Profession
Rene Wellek

2. Comparative Literature at Harvard
Harry Levin

3. Experiences and Experiments
Victor Lange

4. Versions of a Discipline
Thomas M. Greene

5. Am I a Comparatist?
Thomas G. Rosenmeyer

6. Reminiscences of an Academic Maverick
W. Wolfgang Holdheim

7. How and Why I Became a Comparatist
Anna Balakian

8. Comparative Literature, Modern Thought and Literature
Albert J. Guerard

9. Comparative Literature, CL, and I
Thomas R. Hart

10. Born to Compare
Lilian Furst

11. On Writing to Be A Comparatist
Marjorie Perloff

12. Self-Portrait in the Unembellished Mode
Herbert Lindenberger

13. Home Truths and Institutional Falsehoods
Gerald Gillespie

14. Remembering Paul de Man: An Epoch in the History of Comparative Literature
Stanley Corngold

15. Out of a Gothic North
Lionel Gossman

16. Exile, Play, and Intellectual Autobiography
Mihai I. Spariosu

List of Contributions


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