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Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability [Kindle Edition]

Emily Apter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability argues for a rethinking of comparative literature focusing on the problems that emerge when large-scale paradigms of literary studies ignore the politics of the “Untranslatable”—the realm of those words that are continually retranslated, mistranslated, transferred from language to language, or especially resistant to substitution.

In the place of “World Literature”—a dominant paradigm in the humanities, one grounded in market-driven notions of readability and universal appeal—Apter proposes a plurality of “world literatures” oriented around philosophical concepts and geopolitical pressure points. The history and theory of the language that constructs World Literature is critically examined with a special focus on Weltliteratur, literary world systems, narrative ecosystems, language borders and checkpoints, theologies of translation, and planetary devolution in a book set to revolutionize the discipline of comparative literature.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Just following Emily Apter’s dizzying array of texts from diverse traditions and times (including a tightly argued discussion of the philosophicality of Simone de Beauvoir, lost in translation to the best of US feminists), embracing much experimental material, all read with meticulous care, is an education. No one has thought the question of world literature in greater depth, at once re-thinking Comparative Literature as translatability studies.”—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

“Rarely does one read a book with the title Against that is so much for important causes and ideas: writing, translation, worldliness, diversity, cosmopolitanism, while fully aware of their promises and threats. In this moment of dispossession of the Humanities, we needed just that book to clarify matters and move beyond the contradictions.”

About the Author

Emily Apter is Professor of Comparative Literature and French at New York University. Her published works include The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature and Continental Drift: From National Characters to Subjects.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5471 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (June 17, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K4BA71C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,163 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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8 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely delivery in excellent condition February 10, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Considering the prevalence and continuing attention and importance of the representation of Latin American literature in translation, it is a shame that Apter does not even make a passing reference to that "republic of letters," which played an immense role in Pascale Casanova's groundbreaking book. Ultimately, the problem, which abounds in comparatists, is that knowing one more language other than English is insufficient. Read Auerbach.
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