The new edition of this highly popular guide, How to Read World Literature, addresses the unique challenges and joys faced when approaching the literature of other cultures and eras. Fully revised to address important developments in World Literature, and generously expanded with new material, this second edition covers a wide variety of genres – from lyric and epic poetry to drama and prose fiction – and discusses how each form has been used in different eras and cultures. An ideal introduction for those new to the study of World Literature, as well as beginners to ancient and foreign literature, this book offers a variety of "modes of entry" to reading these texts. The author, a leading authority in the field, draws on years of teaching experience to provide readers with ways of thinking creatively and systematically about key issues, such as reading across time and cultures, reading works in translation, emerging global perspectives, postcolonialism, orality and literacy, and more.
- Accessible and enlightening, offers readers the tools to navigate works as varied as Homer, Sophocles, Kalidasa, Du Fu, Dante, Murasaki, Moliere, Kafka, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott
- Fully revised and expanded to reflect the changing face of the study of World Literature, especially in the English-speaking world
- Now includes more major authors featured in the undergraduate World Literature syllabus covered within a fuller critical context
- Features an entirely new chapter on the relationship between World Literature and postcolonial literature
How to Read World Literature, Second Edition is an excellent text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in World Literature. It is also a fascinating and informative read for all readers with an interest in foreign and ancient literature and the history of civilization.
About the Author
David Damrosch, PhD is Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature at Harvard University and a past president of the American Comparative Literature Association. Dr. Damrosch has written widely on comparative and world literature, and his work has been translated into an eclectic variety of languages, including Chinese, Estonian, Hungarian, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Second Edition ix
1 What Is “Literature”? 9
2 Reading across Time 31
3 Reading across Cultures 57
4 Reading in Translation 83
5 Brave New Worlds 107
6 Writing Empire 135
7 Global Writing 157
Epilogue: Going Farther 181
What People are Saying About This
“Undoubtedly, Damrosch's latest book is a useful tool for prospective readers (especially English-speaking ones) of world literature. It introduces them to major works of world literature and shows them how to read these works, both in their original form and in translation. The author succeeds in his endeavor to launch his readers to ‘read, and read, and read still more.’” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, April 2009)